12:43 01.01.2009

Pause in gas talks made at Russia's initiative – Kyiv

Gas talks between Naftogaz Ukrainy and Gazprom were paused at the latter's initiative, Ukrainian presidential energy commissioner Bohdan Sokolovsky said.

"It was the Russian side that initiated the pause," Sokolovsky told Interfax on Thursday.

The Ukrainian side is ready to resume the talks and awaits a relevant confirmation from the Russian side, he said.

Sokolovsky also refuted reports by Gazprom that Naftogaz Ukrainy allegedly lacked mandate to sign gas contracts for 2009.

"This is a new explanation by the Russian side. The delegation had a mission and directions, which were long time ago agreed upon by the Ukrainian president and the government, and was authorized to sign documents," he said.

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