National JSC Naftogaz of Ukraine is holding talks with Russia's Gazprom to ensure that gas contracts foresee penalties for the non-observance of gas transit commitments under the "pump or pay" principle, UKRINFORM reported.

Naftogaz Deputy CEO Vadym Chuprun said that "the contract contains the "take or pay" principle for Ukraine, but with respect to Gazprom, this condition does not exist." "Naftogaz lost USD 600 million last year because of a reduction in transit volumes," he added.

According to a source of the publication at the Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Ministry, Ukraine stressed the need to include the "pump or pay" principle in the document at the talks held in April 2010. He also added that it was extremely important for Ukraine to reach agreement on the pumping of a fixed amount of gas by 2013, when the Nord Stream gas pipeline will operate at full capacity (the maximum volume of pumping is 55 billion cubic meters), as its work theoretically poses a threat that gas transit volumes could decline to 50 billion cubic meters.

The designed capacity of the Ukrainian gas transport system is 142 billion cubic meters.

In 2009, Ukraine transited 75 billion cubic meters of Russian gas. Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said earlier that gas transit had fallen by around 25 billion cubic meters because of the gas conflict with Russia last year.

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