Ukraine used a record amount of natural gas Sunday in reaction to extremely cold weather, but the increased consumption had been agreed with Russia, Prime Minister Yuri Yekhanurov said Monday, Ukrainian journal reported.
Yekhanurov responded to comments made by Gazprom, the Russian gas monopoly, suggesting that Ukraine had been using more gas without a formal approval from the company.
“Unfortunately, Ukraine consumed 407 million cubic meters of gas yesterday,” Yekhanurov said. “This is the record amount [consumed daily].”
Ukraine has been consuming 280 million cu m of gas daily a week ago, when temperatures have been hovering at around zero degrees Celsius, but the consumption had risen after the temperatures had plunged to minus 25 degrees Celsius late last week.
Meanwhile, the cold weather triggered concerns in Europe that Russian gas supplies to Europe may continue to fall following the spell of cold weather that had hit Russia as well.
Alexander Medvedev, the deputy chairman of Gazprom, said Monday that Ukraine had been using more gas that it had been supposed to, which had been putting pressure on gas supplies to Europe.
"Ukraine was using more gas that it had been provided by the agreement, which prevent us from meeting our engagements to foreign customers,"said Medvedev.
"But at a time when Gazprom is taking all measures to increase production and take more gas from underground storage facilities... some people seem to think they can consume as much gas as they want to. Unfortunately, I have to attribute this characteristic to our Ukrainian colleagues. They can not behave as they have paradise on the earth. Paradise has not come yet, and it will not come with such attitude to the work.," he added, RIA Novosty informed.

Yekhanurov, although admitting that Ukraine has been using more gas than usually, said the increased consumption had been agreed and coordinated with Gazprom.

Yekhanurov said that Ukraine has been meeting its transit obligations in line with contracts. But he also said that Ukraine will try to reduce consumption of gas within days to relieve the pressure on gas supplies caused by greater demand.  


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