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Naftogaz Looks to RWE

KIEV — Naftogaz plans to buy gas from Germany's RWE if sole supplier Russia refuses to cut the price in long-running talks, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said Wednesday.

"[Azarov] said that if talks with Russia are unsuccessful, Ukraine will buy gas of Russian origin from a German company, which will be cheaper than [buying] directly from Russia," the Party of the Regions, which Azarov chairs, quoted him as saying.

Analysts say such supplies are possible but in very small volumes, given that Ukraine's pipeline system is designed to pump gas in the opposite direction and is now used to transship Russian gas to Europe. Ukraine has long sought to review a 2009 gas supply deal with Russia, but Moscow is reluctant to scrap it.

(Reuters)

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