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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Ukraine Promises No Gas Disruptions

ReutersUkrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, rear, arriving at a news conference held at the European Commission.
BRUSSELS -- Ukraine will have enough gas in storage this winter to avoid any repeat of the disruption caused in January by a dispute between Kiev and Moscow, Ukrainian Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych said Thursday.

"[Ukraine's] 24.7 billion-cubic-meter gas storage facilities will guarantee a sure supply of gas to Europe," Yanukovych said during his second visit to meet EU officials in Brussels within a week.

"I also want to underline that our cooperation with Russia regarding gas supplies also includes the issue of a stable and continuous gas supply to Europe," said Yanukovych, who will visit Moscow on Friday for talks on gas supplies.

Ukraine had approximately 21 billion cubic meters of gas in storage as of Sept. 5. Yanukovych's aides said it would reach the specified level by mid-October.

The flow of Russian gas through Ukraine to Western Europe was disrupted last January when Moscow cut supplies to Ukraine in a pricing dispute.

The temporary disruption of gas supplies, which the Kremlin at the time blamed on Kiev, triggered concerns in Europe about the reliability of Russia as an energy partner and led to calls for Europe to seek alternative energy sources.

Kiev, which is heavily dependent on energy exports, accepted a nearly twofold increase in gas prices to end the dispute.

Yanukovych's visit to Moscow comes as Ukraine seeks to reach a new agreement on Russian gas deliveries for 2007. Ukraine is anxious to keep any new price increases as low as possible for the sake of its economy.

"The price is the price that is determined by the world market, and we don't see Ukraine as any exception to the world market economy. This will determine the prices of gas," Yanukovych said.