Ukrainian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Hryshchenko on Friday said Kiev had no plans to transfer control of its gas pipeline system to Russia.

"In the framework of cooperation between the government bodies of Ukraine and Russia, the issue of using Ukraine's gas pipeline system in the maximum effective way is being discussed; no one intends to transfer it to anyone," Hryshchenko told the Ukrainian parliament, RIA Novosti reported.

The Ukrainian foreign minister said no "specific deal" has been reached between Russia and Ukraine at the moment.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin proposed a merger between Russian gas giant Gazprom and Ukrainian Naftogaz on April 30. His spokesman said this meant the creation of a new company but not the absorption of Ukraine's gas monopoly.

Earlier this week, Gazprom's CEO Alexei Miller said the Russian energy giant may fund the modernization of Ukraine's gas transport system if the agreement on the merger is signed.

Ukraine's gas pipeline system, which stretches over 37,500 kilometers (23,306 miles), includes 71 booster stations and 13 underground gas storage units of 32 billion cubic meters.

The system pumps 141 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe annually. Russia's gas export, which reached 167 billion cubic meters last year, is forecast to hit 217 billion cubic meters this year.

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