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Ukraine Says It Has Enough Gas For Winter

(ITAR-TASS) 26 December 2005 -- Ukraine's reserves of gas at underground storage facilities are sufficient to last the country throughout this winter.

The announcement was made today by the board chairman of the state-owned natural-gas company Naftohaz Ukrayiny, Aleksei Ivchenko.

But Ivchenko also urged the population to save energy.

Ukraine has 13 underground storage facilities, whose capacity exceeds 30 billion cubic meters.

Ivchenko's comments came one day after a top Gazprom official, Aleksandr Medvedev, said the Russian gas monopoly will stop supplying gas to Ukraine on 1 January if a dispute over prices is not settled until then.

Gazprom wants to hike the price for 1,000 cubic meters from under $50 to $230 in line with international prices.

But Ukrainian leaders say Russia wants to punish them for the country's pro-Western stance.




Celeste Wallander directs the Russia and Eurasia Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and is a CSIS senior fellow. Before joining CSIS, she was senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., and associate professor of government at Harvard University. She is the founder and executive director of the Program on New Approaches to Russian Security. Her recent projects include work on U.S.-Russian security cooperation, the history of Russia and globalization, HIV/AIDS in Russia, and the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election. Among her books are "Swords And Sustenance: The Economics Of Security In Belarus And Ukraine" and "Mortal Friends, Best Enemies: German-Russian Cooperation After The Cold War." She is currently writing "Global Russia: Economics, Politics, And Security."

On November 29, 2005, she spoke with RFE/RL's Ukrainian Service about Russia's energy policies and how Moscow might be seeking to leverage its influence over its neighbors. Listen to the complete interview.
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To read a transcript of the interview,click here.

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