Viktor Yushchenko and Gordon Brown at 10 Downing Street

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko held a 50 minute meeting with Prime Minister Gordon Brown here in London late yesterday afternoon.

Mr Yushchenko followed this up with a meeting with journalists outside No. 10 during which he responded to just one question posed by the editor of Dumka, Oleksa Semenchenko:  why did the EU label Ukraine as being equally guilty for the recent gas crisis?

President Yushchenko said that since the European Commission and EU did not have a joint policy on gas supplies, it was difficult for them to act as intermediaries in the dispute which by its very nature was not only economic, but also political.

He was convinced that personal meetings with representatives of the EU would help to ensure that the truth prevailed about the gas crisis. 

Mr Yushchenko said that the main item of discussion during his meeting with Prime Minister Brown was the issue of Russian gas supplies to the European consumer.

He emphasised that that Ukraine fully adheres to all of her obligations to secure the transit of Russian gas supplies to European countries.  He also stressed that Ukraine had fully paid up all of her outstanding debts for gas supplies for 2008 and that since 1 January 2009, despite Kremlin allegations to the contrary, Ukraine had not made any unauthorised attempts to remove gas from the piplines passing through Ukrainian territory.

Yushchenko continued:  "I want everyone to know that Ukraine did not steal and is not stealing gas.  If this issue remains so contentious, we  reiterate our appeal to the European Commission to form a special committee to investigate the question of Russian gas supplies, Ukraine's expidition of her duties regarding transit and, most importantly, to establish whether Ukraine does or does not illegally siphon off Russian gas supplies to Europe."

President Yushchenko underlined that Ukraine is an ally of Europe and that it is prepared to waive the transit fees until the dispute is resolved.  Whilst welcoming the possibility of a meeting of EU leaders, he said that the prime and principal priority now was for the Russian authorities to show good will and to resume full gas supplies to Europe with immediate effect.

A full report will appear in the next issue of Dumka.



Ukrayinska Dumka


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