Aleksei Miller, president of Gazprom, earlier this month (ITAR-TASS)
26 January 2006 -- Russia's state-owned gas company, Gazprom, today accused Ukraine of stealing more Russian gas meant for European customers.
Gazprom released a statement saying the alleged siphoning "means a total absence of control in Ukraine's energy sector."
It's the latest accusation in a dispute between Moscow and Kyiv over energy prices and transit fees. The row peaked on 1 January, when Russia cut off supplies to Ukraine. That move also affected customers in Europe who receive Russian gas through Ukraine.
Ukraine's Antimonopoly Committee today said that the signing of a new deal in which Ukraine will buy Russian gas at higher prices has been delayed due to both sides' failure to produce the necessary documents.
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Ukraine consumes 70 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas per year. It produces 20 bcm of its own gas, has a signed contract to import 40 bcm from Turkmenistan, and in 2005 was getting 29 bcm from Russia as payment for transit of Russian gas.
Ukraine sells some 7 bcm of gas a year to the West and places some in underground storage facilities. These facilities can hold 34.5 bcm.