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Ukraine Launches RosUkrEnergo Probe

Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller (right) and Naftohaz Ukrayiny head Oleksiy Ivchenko at the signing of the gas agreement in Moscow on 4 January (epa) 17 February 2006 -- Ukraine's security service is conducting a probe into RosUkrEnergo, the intermediary company that is to supply gas to Ukraine under a recent deal with Russia.

SBU spokeswoman Marina Ostapenko said the probe was not a criminal investigation, just a "check." She refused to provide any other details.

RosUkrEnergo is a Swiss-registered company equally owned by Russia's state-controlled Gazprom and a group of unidentified investors.

The company's murky background has sparked widespread criticism in Ukraine and abroad. Last month, Ukraine's parliament voted to sack the government over the January gas deal with Russia. The vote was ignored by President Viktor Yushchenko.

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov last week demanded more information about RosUkrEnergo's secret investors after Russian President Vladimir Putin said they were linked to Ukraine, not Russia.


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