Official: Ukraine Won't Buy Russian Gas

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine currently pays $95 (euro74) per 1,000 cubic meters of a mix of more expensive Russian gas and cheaper Turkmen imports which it receives through an intermediary company.

In order to avoid an anticipated major price hike from Russia next year, Ukraine has agreed to buy the needed 57.5 billion cubic meters of gas from Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan for the same price it is currently paying, said Dmytro Marunich, spokesman for Ukraine's state-owned gas company Naftogaz.

"There is no need to buy from anybody else," Marunich told The Associated Press.

Energy Minister Yuri Boyko on Friday stressed, however, that the decision will not disrupt deliveries of Russian gas to European consumers, Ukrainian media reported.

Some 80 percent of Russian gas exports to Europe go through Ukraine.

Ukraine has vowed that western European gas consumers will not suffer supply disruptions as they did in January during a price dispute between Ukraine and Russia, when Russia briefly turned off the gas taps.

Russia then accused Ukraine of siphoning off gas meant for Europe.

Russia's state-controlled natural gas monopoly, OAO Gazprom, has said it would keep the current price of natural gas for Ukraine unchanged until the end of the year, but pressure to increase the price has risen after Turkmenistan hiked the amount Russia pays for the gas it buys and then sells on to Ukraine.

Source: AP