Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has demanded that the Ukrainian government officially amend the gas contracts with Russia dated January 19, 2009, his press secretary Iryna Vannykova said, UKRINFORM.

She said that Yushchenko wants the Cabinet of Ministers to determine the optimal amount of Russian gas to be purchased next year, taking into account the real state of economy.

Vannykova said that the head of state insists on a switch to mutually acceptable formulae for the gas price for Ukraine and the gas transit rate, taking into account the agreements reached between the presidents of the two countries on February 19, 2009.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin earlier told the European Union that problems might arise with gas supplies via Ukraine.

He said after his phone conversation with Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on Friday that problems had again arisen in the question of Ukraine's payments for Russian gas.

Quoting the Ukrainian premier, Putin said that the Ukrainian president puts obstacles to stable cooperation between the National Bank of Ukraine, which has gold forex reserves, and the government, and that he also blocks the transfer of respective funds.

During her last visit to Russia, Tymoshenko agreed with Putin that Ukraine would buy as much gas as the country really needs and that it would pay only for the amount of gas purchased, rather than contracted earlier. However, respective agreements have not been signed.


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