Ukraine promises EU its gas conflicts with Russia are over

Ukraine's energy minister assured the European Commission on Wednesday that the country has made its quarrels with Russia over gas supplies a thing of the past and they will never return.

"As for us and our Russian partners, I am confident we won't have any conflict in the future, as we have an absolutely transparent situation between us and our partner, Gazprom," Yuriy Boyko said after talks with EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger.

"We pay for the gas. They pay for the transit very accurately and on time, as specified in the contract," Boyko said.

The Russia-Belarus gas row on mutual debts, reminiscent of last year's dispute between Russia and Ukraine, caused fears that European consumers could be affected if Belarus halts transit.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov announced on Tuesday that Ukraine was ready to provide additional gas transit via its territory in relation with the recent Russia-Belarus gas conflict, which could jeopardize gas supplies for the EU customers.

Gazprom started to cut its gas supplies to Belarus on Monday over a $200 million debt Minsk had accumulated since the start of the year, and on Wednesday it delivered only 40% of its usual daily volumes to Belarus.

Boyko said he hoped the gas conflict between Russia and Belarus would be settled soon. Ukraine will do everything to help the EU "avert any problems in the energy sector and, if necessary, help in resolving the situation," he said.

Poland said on Wednesday it was receiving all its contracted gas but Oettinger said Lithuania had only received half its daily gas deliveries on Wednesday. The EU said 6.25% of the bloc's gas consumption is pumped via Belarus.

BRUSSELS/KIEV, June 23 (RIA Novosti)


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