Ukraine Imports Only 33% Of Agreed Volume Of Gas

MOSCOW, Russia -- The Moscow Times reported that Ukraine imported just 1 billion cubic meters of Russian gas in April, one-third of the volumes that had been penciled in under a supply contract with Moscow.

According to the report, the supply contract, signed after January's three-week standoff with Russia that led to supply cuts to Europe, provided for Ukrainian purchases of 40 billion cubic meters in 2009, including 10 billion cubic meters in April to June. But energy consumption has fallen sharply as industries slash production and Ukraine plunges into a deep recession.

Ms Yulia Tymoshenko Prime minister of Ukraine who brokered the supply deal, says she will discuss how volumes in the contract can be lowered when she meets Prime Minister Mr Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday.

Ukraine expects to import 33 billion cubic meters this year, compared with about 55 billion cubic meters last year. In the Q1 it imported 2.5 billion cubic meter half of the contracted volumes a fact that may yet spark another dispute between Kiev and Moscow.

Russia's position on the lower volumes is so far unclear. Gazprom chief executive Mr Alexei Miller suggested that the company could fine Ukraine for under buying while other officials have said no sanctions are planned.

Naftogaz also said the price for gas in the Q2 would be USD 270.95 per 1,000 cubic meters a dollar higher than its initial estimates and much lower than the USD 360 it paid in the first three months of 2009.

Last year, Ukraine paid USD 179.50 per thousand cubic meters throughout the year. This year, the price is a 20% discount on European prices and has to be calculated quarterly.

Source: Steel Guru