Ukraine to sue Gazprom spokesman

Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz threatened to sue the spokesman of its Russian counterpart Gazprom on Thursday over accusations made following this week's conflict over gas prices.

Legal action could be taken against Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov for his remarks that Ukraine stole Russian gas intended for supply through the country to Europe, Naftogaz chairman Oleksiy Ivchenko said.

"Our spokesman has entered into correspondence with Gazprom's spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov and I don't rule out this correspondence being transferred to the judicial authorities," Ivchenko told Kanal 5 television.

Ukraine denied the allegation that it stole gas after Gazprom cut its supplies to the Ukrainian market on January 1 in a price dispute, which resulted in a decrease in supplies to other European countries.

A complex deal was struck on Wednesday in which Gazprom will sell gas to RosUkrEnergo for 230 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters, the same price it had demanded Ukraine pay from Jan. 1, and Ukraine will buy gas from the company for 95 U.S. dollars, nearly twice the previous price.

Little is known about RosUkrEnergo, except that it is a joint venture of a Gazprom bank and a Swiss subsidiary of Austria's Raiffeisen Bank, Xinhua reports.


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