Russia ready to defend its interests on gas deal with Ukraine in court

Moscow is ready to defend its interests on the gas contract with Kiev in any court since Ukraine’s plans to scrap energy company Naftogaz in order to tear up the gas deals are inadmissible, Kremlin said on Saturday.

“Russia is ready to defend its interests on the [gas] deal in any court and will act in a strict compliance with this document,” Russian president’s spokeswoman, Natalya Timakova said, adding that the agreement can not be unilaterally reviewed.

Ukraine, which is Russia’s main energy transit route to Europe, has been trying to revise its 2009 deal with Russian gas giant Gazprom which tied the gas price to the price for oil boosting Kiev’s bill. Former prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko is now on trial for exceeding her authority in signing it.

In June Gazprom agreed on the merger with Naftogaz as a precondition for lower gas prices. On Thursday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said Naftogaz would be scrapped and the 2009 gas deals with Russia revised.

Any Ukraine’s domestic decisions should not affect the fulfillment of the international commitments, Timakova said, referring to Ukraine’s plans to scrap Naftogaz.

“Otherwise it may result in the serious consequences for the Ukrainian economy,” the spokeswoman added.

Azarov has repeatedly said that the 2009 deal violated a 2004 agreement which says the two countries could revise deliveries of gas.

According to the 2009 gas contract, in case of any reorganization of one of the sides, its successor should meet the previous commitments, Gazprom’s spokesman, Sergei Kupriyanov said, adding that there are no grounds for revising the current agreement.

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