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    Trader to sell Russian gas to Ukraine to cover Asian shortfall

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    MOSCOW, January 16 (RIA Novosti) - Natural gas trader RosUkrEnergo, co-owned by Gazprom, said on Wednesday it would sell Russian gas to Ukraine in January-March to cover a shortfall in Central Asian supplies.

    "In January 2008, natural gas deliveries from Central Asia dropped due to the unusually cold weather. The shortfall amounts to about 40 million cubic meters per day," RosUkrEnergo Managing Director Konstantin Chuichenko said.

    Previously, RosUkrEnergo supplied a mixture of Russian and Central Asian gas, but in 2007 it stopped pumping Russian gas.

    Since the start of this month, RosUkrEnergo has delivered around 740 million cubic meters of Russian gas to Ukrainian consumers, a figure confirmed by Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov.

    In October 2007, Gazprom said it would cut off gas supplies to Ukraine should it fail to pay off its $1.3 billion debt by Nov. 1, 2007. But in early November, Ukraine fully cleared its debt for 2006 and 2007 deliveries.

    RosUkrEnergo is a Swiss-registered company that transports natural gas from Turkmenistan to East European countries. A 50% interest in the company is owned by Gazprom, through its subsidiary, Swiss-registered ARosgas Holding AG and the other half is owned by Swiss-registered Centragas Holding AG.

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