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6 Mar, 2008 07:57

EU not affected by Russia-Ukraine gas row

Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom has notified the European Commission that the gas dispute with Ukraine has been settled. While the two countries have struck a tentative deal on gas supplies, a delegation from Ukraine's Naftogaz is expected in Moscow.

They will then hammer out the final details of the agreement.

“Gas delivered from January 1 to March 1, 2008, will be fully documented and paid for by Ukraine in line with a scheme effective as of the beginning of this year,” Gazprom spokesperson Sergey Kupriyanov said.

None of the 27 EU countries has complained of disruption of gas supplies related to the Russia-Ukraine dispute.

President Yushchenko says he's pleased that Naftogaz and Gazprom have not let  emotions stand in the way of sitting down at the table and sorting things out.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko believes Ukraine has won in the latest gas dispute, saying the country has secured the price it wanted from the very beginning – $US 179 per thousand cubic metres – instead of Russia’s demand for $US 314.

She also mentioned that the conflict was more about politics than anything else, both domestically and externally.

Indeed, there’s been a disagreement between the Ukrainian President and the Prime Minister about who'll be in charge of the energy sector.

President Yushchenko travelled to Moscow a couple of weeks ago to attend a meeting with President Putin. They agreed on a scheme to set up a joint venture between the Russian and Ukrainian gas giants. It was later revised by the Prime Minister, who insists no intermediaries should be involved. 

“No agreements between the presidents were fixed on paper. There are such strong companies as Gazprom and Naftogaz that I see no need for middlemen,” said Yulia Timoshenko.