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Kiev to take responsibility for European gas shortfalls

 Ukraine is prepared to bear responsibility for a possible shortfall in Russian natural gas supplies transited to Europe, the prime minister said on Wednesday.

Speaking at the spring session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Yulia Tymoshenko said: "Ukraine is prepared to take on that responsibility, with all that it implies."

Ukraine, which transits about 80% of Russia's Europe-bound gas, threatened to start tapping fuel when Russia halved shipments to the country amid a dispute over Kiev's gas debt and supply scheme earlier this year.

European consumers did not report any shortfall in supplies this year, unlike at the start of 2006, when a bitter pricing row led Moscow to briefly cut off deliveries to its ex-Soviet neighbor.

Moscow and Kiev resolved their fresh gas dispute in mid-March, agreeing on the size of the debt and a supply scheme, although some issues still need to be addressed.

RIA Novosti


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