Ukraine: Russia demands impossible gas route

January 13, 2009 5:52:57 AM PST
A top Ukrainian official says Russia is trying hard to discredit Ukraine by sending natural gas intended for Europe on a technically impossible transit route over Ukraine's vast pipeline system. Ukrainian energy adviser Bohdan Sokolovsky says Russia has shipped natural gas along a route that would require Ukraine to cut domestic consumers out before it can deliver gas to the Balkans.

Russia's Gazprom state-controlled gas monopoly resumed shipments to Europe via Ukraine on Tuesday, but then accused Ukraine of blocking the transit of gas.

Sokolovsky said a gas entry point on the Russian border and a gas pumping station near the Romanian border where Gazprom wants its gas delivered are not linked by an export pipeline. That means Ukraine has to cut service to its eastern industrial regions first.