RosUkrEnergo Still Owed $650M

KIEV -- RosUkrEnergo, the intermediary company that has supplied Russian gas to Ukraine, is still owed about $650 million by Ukraine's state energy company, its chairman said in comments published Tuesday.

Dmytro Firtash also told the Kommersant Ukraina daily that RosUkrEnergo was unconcerned about the provisions of a Russia-Ukraine gas deal eliminating the need for intermediaries in the gas trade.

"RosUkrEnergo is quite a large company, and for us Ukrainian business was never profitable. Therefore, if we no longer have the obligation to supply Ukraine, this will only make me happy."

Firtash said his company, half-owned by Gazprom, held options to buy part of Ukraine's gas distribution companies but was unable to say whether it would proceed with the purchase.