The Ukrainian government has assured European states of its reliability as a transit country for Russian gas, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said on Wednesday.
"The Austrian chancellor told me how much his country suffered in the 2009 gas crisis. This problem is still making tense our relations with the countries to where Ukraine transports gas," Azarov told a cabinet meeting.
The 2009 gas crisis erupted on January 1 after Russian gas giant Gazprom suspended gas transit to Europe via a pipeline which runs through Ukrainian territory because of the absence of a payment agreement with Ukraine. Supplies to Europe resumed from January 19, when the agreement was signed.
"This is why I have officially assured Austria, like other European partners, that Ukraine will guarantee reliable and uninterrupted gas transit to Europe," Azarov said, adding that the guarantee would be safer if the EU, Ukraine and Russia signed a gas transit contract.
KIEV, November 10 (RIA Novosti)