Ukraine To Cut Gas Purchase From Russia

KIEV, Ukraine -- Ukraine will buy 41 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia in 2011 instead of the contracted 55 billion, the Kommersant-Ukraina newspaper said on Thursday.

"We have for all intents and purposes agreed to lower the volume to be purchased," a source in the Russian energy giant Gazprom told the paper, adding however that the corresponding documents were still to be signed.

The paper quoted Ukrainian Energy Ministry officials as saying that Ukraine's record gas reserves of 27 billion cubic meters had made the government seek to cut gas purchases. The country only needs 20 to 22 billion cubic meters of gas a year, Kommersant-Ukraina said.

Ukraine's national energy company Naftogaz receives a 30-percent discount for Russian gas in exchange for the Ukrainian government's agreement to extend the lease on a Russian naval base in the Crimea until at least 2042, which was reached in April.

The Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal ruled in June that Ukraine's national energy company Naftogaz owes its former gas supply intermediary, Swiss-registered RosUkrEnergo, 11 billion cubic meters of gas, which the trader says was illegally confiscated in January 2009, as well as fines of 1.1 billion cubic meters.

Naftogaz challenged the verdict, but the Kiev Appeals Court rejected the claim. The energy company now wants to appeal against the decision at the Ukrainian Supreme Court.

Source: RIA Novosti