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Gazprom hopes to sign gas contracts with Ukraine for 20-30 years


MOSCOW, January 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russian energy giant Gazprom hopes to sign gas supply contracts with Ukraine for 20-30 years to ensure stable gas transit to Europe, Gazprom Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev said on Sunday.

Gazprom and Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz signed on Monday a long-awaited contract on gas supplies to Ukraine for 2009-2019, following a dispute which saw gas deliveries to Europe cut off. The EU called the situation "incredible and unacceptable." Russian gas started flowing into Europe again on Tuesday.

"We can think of a longer period of 20-30 years similar to other contracts [with other gas consumers]," Medvedev said in an interview with Rossiya TV channel.

Under the current price agreement for Russian gas, Ukraine will pay $450 per 1,000 cubic meters with a 20% discount agreed between Moscow and Kiev for 2009. The price is expected to go down later in the year to reflect a fall in world oil prices. Last year Ukraine paid $179.5. The transit tariff paid by Russia remains unchanged for 2009.

Medvedev expressed the confidence that the contracts signed between Gazprom and Naftogaz in Moscow would not be revised.

Russia suspended supplies to Ukraine on January 1 after the former Soviet neighbors failed to reach an agreement on a new gas contract for 2009. A week later, Gazprom cut off gas deliveries to the European Union, saying Ukraine was stealing gas intended for EU consumers.

Gazprom resumed supplies to Europe on January 20 following the signing of a new contract with Naftogaz on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine for 2009-2019.

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