(RIA Novosti) - Russia guarantees uninterrupted natural gas supplies to Europe, and will solve gas transit problems taking into account the interests of all parties, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday.

"As far as Russia is concerned, we can guarantee that we will comply with all our contractual obligations for gas supplies to Europe in all directions, as we have done in previous years," Lavrov said at a press conference after a meeting of the Standing Council of Russia-EU Partnership in Brussels.

On the brief supply interruption at the start of the year due to a debt dispute with Ukraine, Lavrov said: "I hope all of us will learn a lesson from the difficulties that emerged last year and at the start of this year, and take all measures to ensure that this situation never happens again."

Russia, which supplies around one fifth of Europe's gas, briefly shut down supplies via Ukraine's pipeline system at the start of the year during a dispute with Kiev over unpaid debt and new gas prices.

The conflict was resolved in January, when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart, Yulia Tymoshenko, agreed deals on deliveries to and gas transit through Ukraine for 2009.

Ukraine transits around 80% of Russia's Europe-bound gas.


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