Gazprom Investigating Whether Ukraine Is Siphoning Gas Meant For Europe

MOSCOW, Russia -- By mid-day today, Gazprom will find out whether Ukraine has started unauthorized gas withdrawal, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said commenting on Naftogaz Ukrainy CEO Oleh Dubyna's statement that Russian gas transit supplies to Europe were reduced by 21 million cubic meters a day.

Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov.

"We saw this announcement but believe that we should wait for the moment when 24 hours expire and we can draw corresponding conclusions. That will happen tomorrow in the middle of the day," Kupriaynov said on Vesti-24 channel Thursday evening.

Asked how Gazprom is planning to amend the situation, if the information proves true Kupriyanov said: "Let's wait until tomorrow and then we will tell you everything."

He spoke of the obstructions to the work of independent auditors posed by Naftogaz Ukrainy. "As is customary in such situations we invited independent auditors to monitor the volumes of gas entering Ukraine's [transportation] system and leaving it. Access was easily given to corresponding gas measuring facilities in European countries, observers are working there already. And naturally in Russian territory. As for stationing observers on Ukrainian gas measuring stations on the western border, we received a reply from Naftogaz Ukrainy today that they will not allow observers," he said.

Kupriyanov stressed that Gazprom is ready for the continuation of talks with the Ukrainian side.

"The Gazprom senior management is now at the office and today we spent almost the whole day here at the company headquarters in Namyotkina Street. But our Ukrainian colleagues did not come for the talks. Once again we see that we need it more than they do," Kupriyanov added.

Source: Kyiv Post