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    Gazprom concerned over political crisis in gas transit Ukraine

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    Russia's energy giant Gazprom [RTS: GAZP] said in a statement Friday it is concerned over the raging political crisis in Ukraine, a gas transit country for Europe.

    MOSCOW, April 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's energy giant Gazprom [RTS: GAZP] said in a statement Friday it is concerned over the raging political crisis in Ukraine, a gas transit country for Europe.

    Gazprom's anxiety sparks from a gas dispute with Ukraine over price hikes early last year, which resulted in a brief suspension of exports to Europe and undermined Russia's reputation of a reliable energy supplier. Ukraine later admitted it had siphoned off gas.

    "Gazprom is watching the developments in Ukraine with concern, given the exclusive role of the country in the transit of Russian gas to European consumers," the company's chief executive, Alexei Miller, told Ukraine's energy minister, Yuriy Boiko, and added Russia would continue honoring its gas commitments.

    The government of the ex-Soviet nation is taking urgent measures to cut domestic budget spending in an effort to forestall the negative social and economic consequences of the escalating political confrontation.

    But Boiko said, "The Ukrainian government is controlling the situation in the economy and guarantees reliable and stable transit of Russian gas to Europe."

    A political standoff between pro-presidential forces and the premier-led coalition in the Ukrainian parliament deteriorated after 11 opposition members defected in late March and the president signed a decree to dissolve the Supreme Rada. But the document has been referred to the Constitutional Court, pending the decision April 19.

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