Under the existing contracts with Gazprom, Ukraine will be unable to guarantee gas supplies from Russia to Europe during the 2010-11 winter season, the Ukrainian president's point man on energy security said Tuesday, according to RIA Novosti.

Bohdan Sokolovskiy said, however, that Ukraine was fully prepared to ensure Russian gas transits during the upcoming winter period.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has repeatedly said that the gas deal agreed by the Russian and Ukrainian prime ministers in January should be renegotiated.

In particular, he is unhappy with the current transit fee, which he says means Ukraine's state-controlled energy company Naftogaz receives at least $2.5 billion a year less than it should.

Sokolovskiy warned that unless the deal was reviewed, "2010 and 2011 will be unpredictable in terms of gas transit."

Ukraine is currently negotiating with Gazprom on a reduction in supplies to 33 billion cubic meters a year.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller has said that under the contract, Ukraine must buy at least 52 billion cubic meters of gas per year, but Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said on Thursday that "Ukraine has the right to order the volume that it needs."

She said the contract provides for 20% fluctuations in the level of consumption, and that "aggressive statements" on mandatory purchase levels should be ignored.


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