Ukrainian partners should fulfil contractual gas obligations – Kremlin

DUSHANBE, September 3 (Itar-Tass) — Ukrainian partners should fulfil their contractual obligations on gas in case of Naftogaz reorganization, Russian presidential spokeswoman Natalya Timakova said.

Presidents of Russia and Ukraine, Dmitry Medvedev and Viktor Yanukovich, exchanged views on this issue on the sidelines of the CIS summit, Timakova told journalists on Saturday.

At the same time, she said, “there is no separate meeting.”

“The Russian president told Ukrainian partners that the proposals, which had been given to the Russian government and submitted to him, are not concrete,” Timakova said.

However, she stressed, “Moscow believes that the existing agreement between the two countries determines the essential conditions for gas cooperation.” “It [the agreement] must be implemented and cannot be revised unilaterally. Russia is ready to defend its position on any level. Russia will act in compliance with the provisions of the document,” the presidential spokeswoman said.

In her words, Russia believes that Ukrainian partners “should fulfil their contractual obligations in full, including conditions for the price of gas supplies, even in case of Naftogaz reorganization”.

“We consider unacceptable manipulations, which justify the unilateral denial of the obligations agreed upon. Any intrastate decisions taken by Ukraine should not have an impact on the commitment to international obligations. Otherwise, this can lead to serious consequences for the Ukrainian economy,” Timakova pointed out.

The Russian government has not received any letters yet with proposals for inter-state talks on clearing up the terms of gas supplies to Ukraine, the Russian prime minister’s press-secretary Dmitry Peskov told Itar-Tass on Friday.

“We have not received the letter so far,” he said.

Earlier, Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said that Kiev had dispatched an official letter to the Russian government with a proposal for holding interstate negotiations to clarify gas supplies to Ukraine.

“We have every reason to ask the government of Russia in accordance with the intergovernmental agreement of 2004 to hold talks on gas supplies and the conditions of transit. This message was sent,” Azarov said.

In response to this statement by the Ukrainian prime minister Gazprom’s spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said that the Ukrainian side had repeatedly raised the issue of revising the gas contracts with Russia.

“They always do this,” he said.

The gas supply contracts Russia and Ukraine concluded in 2009 run counter to several provisions of the intergovernmental agreement, ratified by the Ukrainian parliament and the State Duma, which entered into force in 2004, Azarov told the media.

He said Ukraine had asked Russia to hold talks on gas supplies to clarify the scope and conditions of its transit in 2012.

“The Ukrainian government has sent a letter to the Russian government, in which it presented its arguments at the negotiations on the gas issue,” said Azarov. “In accordance with the intergovernmental agreement of 2004 we have every reason to suggest holding in Russia negotiations to clarify the volume of gas supplies in 2012 and the terms of delivery and transit of gas. “

Azarov said that the letter contained arguments to the effect that in accordance with the intergovernmental agreement the annual volume of gas supply, transit terms and prices shall be determined by special inter-governmental protocols.

“Unfortunately, since 2005, this provision having the force of an international agreement, which is superior to business contracts and domestic legislation, has never been observed,” the prime minister said.

Azarov said Ukraine believes that the contract that was signed in January 2009 during the premiership of Yulia Timoshenko contradicts at least that part of the intergovernmental agreement which relates to the annual revisions of agreements. “Therefore, Ukraine has every reason to invite Russia to hold such talks,” said Azarov.

He expected that the presidents of Ukraine and Russia Viktor Yanukovych and Dmitry Medvedev would discuss gas issues at the meeting of the Council of the CIS Heads of State in Dushanbe. Azarov voiced the hope that during that meeting, “this issue will be raised again.”


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