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Gazprom: No deal on additional gas supplies to Ukraine in place yet

Moscow, July 11 (RIA Novosti) - No agreement on additional Russian gas supplies to Ukraine has been reached thus far, Gazprom officials said.

They described the statement made earlier today by Alexei Ivchenko, Ukrainian Deputy Minister of Energy and Chair of Naftogaz, that his pipeline-operating company had allegedly clinched a deal on extra supplies with the Russian gas monopoly as "wishful thinking."

"This statement is absolutely groundless," Gazprom Vice Chair Alexander Medvedev said.

Medvedev said Gazexport, a Gazprom subsidiary, was the only company authorized to make decisions on natural gas exports from Russia and that it had not yet prepared, let alone signed, any contracts on additional gas supplies to Ukraine in 2005.

RosUkrEnergo, a Russian-Ukrainian joint venture, may export an additional amount of natural gas to Ukraine before the end of this year, but all key contractual figures, such as the amount, the timeframe, the price and the mode of payment, are yet to be negotiated, said Konstantin Chuichenko, the company's Russian co-chair and a member of the Gazprom board. He said it would be premature to talk about any struck deals just yet.

RosUkrEnergo was set up specifically to purchase natural gas for Ukraine from the Central Asian republic of Turkmenistan. Its co-founders, a Gazprom and a Reiffeisenbank affiliates, each own each a 50% stake.

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