RUSSIA BENEFITS FROM UKRAINIAN POWER SUPPLY

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MOSCOW, February 2 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian UES (United Energy Systems) energy company intends to promote the import of electricity from Ukraine as economically beneficial.

"We have agreed with Ukraine upon a serious import project. We are wholly ready to buy Ukrainian electricity and face competition", RIA Novosti quotes UES chairman of the board Anatoli Chubais as saying on Tuesday.

He called cooperation between his company and Ukraine "intensive" on the whole. "In 2001 ex-President Leonid Kuchma played the crucial role in the solution of key questions, such as the restoration of synchronous operation with Ukrainian electricity workers", he said.

At the same time, Mr. Chubais cited a set of yet unresolved problems in the energy sector, including the suspension of the project on the UES buying some energy assets in Ukraine.

"We had a project on the purchase of some assets from a regional energy company. It is still hanging in mid-air not through our fault. We would like to buy assets there and are not going to be given special terms and privileges. We are ready for any tender arrangement and equal competition", he added.

Last week Mr. Chubais had a telephone conversation with Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Minister Ivan Plachkov. "We have agreed upon the stock-taking of our relations with the Ukrainian side and a list of outstanding questions for shaping a strategy and promoting cooperation".

"We would like to make strides in Ukraine and, personally knowing many Ukrainian ministers and top managers, I very much hope that we will break through earlier misunderstandings", Mr. Chubais stressed.

In December 2002 the import of electricity from Ukraine to Russia stood at 250 million kilowatt-hours. In January 2005 it grew to 345 million kilowatt-hours. The plans for the entire 2005 say it will be 6.5 billion kilowatt-hours.

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