Ukraine Accused of Fraud

Ukraine is using a "fraudulent scheme" to carry out reverse shipments of Russian gas from the European market, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said late Saturday, further raising tensions in a price dispute with Kiev.

"There are no de facto and physical reverse supplies planned, but what is planned is to use Gazprom's gas through some virtual reverse," the monopoly's head told Rossia-24 state-run television. "This is reminiscent of some fraudulent schemes, and one needs to deal with it."

Spokespeople for Ukraine's deputy prime minister on energy issues, Yury Boiko, and Fuel Minister Eduard Stavitsky were not available for comment on Sunday.

Miller said the scheme was enforced using technical manipulations at gas-measuring stations.

Reiterating Gazprom's position, he said buying gas from Europe at spot prices would not be economically viable for Ukraine, which currently buys Russian gas at a fixed price of $430 per 1,000 cubic meters.

(Reuters)

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