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Gazprom Rejects Possibility of Reducing Ukraine Obligation

The amount of gas Ukraine contracted to purchase in 2012 cannot be reduced to the annual 27 billion cubic meters Ukraine is demanding, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said Thursday.

“In accordance with the contract, any change to annual volumes cannot in principle exceed 20 percent. In 2012, as everyone knows, the contracted volume is 52 bcm and even purely theoretically [it] could not be lowered to 27 bcm,” Kupriyanov said, Interfax reported.

Meanwhile, Ukraine claims it has suffered significant losses due to the current gas contract with Russia. Ukraine has lost $12 billion to $15 billion since signing the 2009 gas contracts with Russia, Ukrainian presidential chief of staff Serhiy Levochkin told journalists in Kiev on Thursday.

“This year we will ‘celebrate’ the three-year anniversary since signing the gas contracts, which were signed in 2009. Since that time, calculating approximate losses incurred by the Ukrainian government — and that means every Ukrainian citizen — that would total about between $12 billion and $15 billion,” he said, adding that this is a “cautious figure.”

The two countries have been intensely negotiating a new gas agreement over the last several months, including meetings between Ukrainian leaders and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Another round of discussions is set to start Sunday in Moscow.

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