(Adds Gazprom statement)
KIEV/MOSCOW June 19 Ukraine's state-owned gas
company Naftogaz said on Thursday Russia's Gazprom
wants to end a contract which compensates Ukraine if it needs to
use its gas to meet additional demand from Europe.
At the moment, Gazprom compensates Ukraine if Kiev is forced
to provide the rest of Europe with increased supplies from its
underground storage sites.
Russia's natural gas exporter, Gazprom Export, in turn said
it rarely made use of the provision and termination of the
agreement would not affect gas supplies flowing through Ukraine
It said it plans to use storage facilities in Europe, rather
than in Ukraine, to cover peaks in demand from European
consumers during the winter months.
"Termination of this agreement by Gazprom Export does not
affect the reliability of supplies through Ukraine," the Russian
company said in a statement.
Russia has cut off gas supplies to Ukraine over a gas
pricing dispute clouded by the worst political crisis between
the two neighbours since the Soviet Union collapsed.
Moscow, which says Ukraine will now only get gas it pays for
in advance, has put the onus on its neighbour to guarantee the
European Union receives supplies that transit through Ukraine.
Ukraine's Naftogaz said in a statement on Thursday that
Gazprom had informed it that the agreement would be terminated
on June 23.
"Gazprom Export, which deals with Russian gas exports,
informed the operator of the Ukrainian gas transport system,
Ukrtransgaz, about its wish to terminate a contract which
provides compensation to the Ukrainian side for fluctuations in
daily consumption volumes of gas to Europe," Naftogaz said.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk and Denis Pinchuk, writing by
Elizabeth Piper and Alissa de Carbonnel; editing by Keiron