19:21 06.02.2009

Ukrainian president says Russia is to blame for halt in gas supplies to EU

Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko has said that Ukraine has met, is meeting, and will continue to meet all of its commitments under existing legal agreements and contracts on gas supplies, and it is Russia that bears responsibility before European consumers for halted gas deliveries.

"I want to state categorically that Ukraine did not steal Russian gas. Ukraine has fully fulfilled its transit function, as foreseen by the respective contract between two companies - Naftogaz Ukrainy and Gazprom," the presidential press service quoted him as saying in an interview with the ICTV Channel, which will be broadcast on Sunday evening.

Yuschenko said that in his opinion, it is not a matter for the presidents to "tell economic entities how they should live and how they should observe their contracts."

He said that the Russian side, within the implementation of this contract, had not presented any official and formal claims.

"Therefore, the rest is merely politics aimed at discrediting Ukraine, create another international scandal, and organize another international show," Yuschenko said.

He said that Russia bears all responsibility for meeting its commitments to its European consumers for the amount and schedule of gas supplied to them.

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