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Ukraine's national energy company Naftogaz refused to accept Russian natural
Ukraine's national energy company Naftogaz refused to accept Russian natural gas for transit to Europe for a second day, Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom said on Wednesday.

Gazprom said it filed another application with Naftogaz on Wednesday for the transit of 98.8 million cubic meters of gas, including 13.9 million intended for Moldova, 62.7 billion for the Balkan states, and 22.2 million for Slovakia.

Russia, which has accused Ukraine of tapping gas bound for Europe, resumed shipments after a weeklong cutoff on Tuesday after a EU-led team of monitors was deployed at gas metering stations in Ukraine. However, Gazprom said later in the day Kiev was blocking the shipments.

The monopoly said on Wednesday it had requested the transits via the Sudzha gas entry point on the Russian border, an export pipeline with direct access to the nations affected by the dispute, including Bulgaria, Romania and Turkey.

Naftogaz in turn demanded transit via other entry points, used mainly for gas intended for domestic consumption, and the replenishment of gas reserves to 140 million cu m, Gazprom said.

Ukraine has claimed that Russia has not sent enough "technical gas" to maintain the pressure necessary to send the required volumes to Europe. Kiev also said that Moscow had demanded gas for Europe be sent along a complicated route that would require Ukraine to cut off supplies to its own people.

"Naftogaz's repeated refusals prove that Ukraine is unable to replenish gas reserves it has siphoned off and resume transits. Gazprom is prepared to restart supplies for European consumers at any moment," the Russian energy giant said.

The Naftogaz chief rejected on Wednesday Russia's claims that Ukraine had illegally siphoned off its gas, saying the company had transited 1.2 billion cubic meters of gas to Moldova.

Oleh Dubyna also said gas transit was "technically" impossible at the moment.

"We cannot reactivate the [transit] network for such insignificant amounts [of gas] and for an indefinite time," Dubyna said, urging a provisional agreement with Russia that stipulated transit volumes and routes.

Ukraine's energy minister, Yury Prodan, urged EU officials on Wednesday to pressure Moscow over delays in transits.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was reported to have called the crisis "unacceptable and incredible" and warned the EU could advise energy firms to sue Russian and Ukrainian energy companies unless gas supplies were restored quickly.

Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine on January 1 after talks on debt and a gas price for 2009 broke down. On January 7, Moscow cut off shipments to Europe, accusing Ukraine of siphoning off gas in transit for European consumers.


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