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Yushchenko Seeks Information On Gas Intermediary

Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller (right) shakes hands with Naftohaz Ukrayiny CEO Oleksiy Ivchenko on 4 January after the gas dispute was resolved (epa) 15 February 2006 -- Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko says he wants more information about a firm playing an intermediary role in a gas deal worked out with Russia.

In a statement late on 14 February, Yushchenko said he shared the concerns of the European Union and others about the company, RusUkrEnergo.

RusUkrEnergo is key to a deal between Russia and Ukraine ending a brief cut-off of Russian gas at the beginning of the year. However, Ukrainian lawmakers have criticized the deal and the role of RusUkrEnergo, whose ownership is unclear.

Earlier on 14 February, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov said Ukraine needed no intermediaries to fulfill the gas agreement.

Ukrainian Finance Minister Viktor Pynzenyk told parliament the gas deal would mean $600 million in new spending to offset higher costs for consumers.


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