Ukraine PM rules out RosUkrEnergo stake due to money shortage

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KIEV, January 25 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine has no plans to purchase a stake in RosUkrEnergo due to a shortage of money, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yuriy Yekhanurov said Wednesday.

"We do not plan to purchase shares of RosUkrEnergo," the premier said. "We do not have the money for this."

RosUkrEnergo, a Swiss-based company that transports Central Asian natural gas to Ukraine via Russia, is owned half by Gazprom subsidiary Gazprombank while the other half is held by Austrian bank Raiffeisen.

Russia wants Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz to participate in the joint venture to provide more transparency for the company.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said earlier that it was important that Ukraine be represented in RosUkrEnergo by Naftogaz and not by a foreign bank.

"Taking into account the scale of the agreement and its public significance, it would be logical if Ukraine was represented not by a foreign bank, but by Naftogaz Ukrainy," Miller said.

He said the structure of the joint Russian-Ukrainian company should be transparent.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and head of Naftogaz Alexei Ivchenko signed a five-year contract early January that set the price for Russian natural gas supplies to Ukraine at $230 per 1,000 cu m and at $1.6 for the transit of 1,000 cu m of gas via every 100km of Ukrainian territory.

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