Prime Minister Vladimir Putin met with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller
12 january 2009
Transcript of the beginning of the meeting:
Vladimir Putin: Mr Miller, you have just returned from Brussels. Did all the parties sign the document on monitoring the transit of our gas through Ukraine?
Alexei Miller: The Ukrainian party signed the protocol without reservations, as did the European Commission.
Vladimir Putin: Where are the observers who are supposed to monitor the gas transit across Ukraine? Did they arrive at their workplaces?
Alexei Miller: The observers are on their way. I am referring to the foreign observers who will work at Gazprom's gas-measuring stations on the border with Ukraine, and the Russian observers working at gas-measuring stations in the neighbouring countries, at the country's exit points and Ukrainian gas storages.
Presently, we are providing the observers with transport: planes and cars. We hope, Mr Putin, that Ukraine will not put any obstacles in the way of their work.
Vladimir Putin: Will journalists be allowed to participate?
Alexei Miller: As you said at a news conference after the meeting with the Czech Prime Minister and chairman of the EU, journalists will be able to cover the work of observers at our gas-measuring stations.
Vladimir Putin: Good. Any suggestions, Mr Miller?
Alexei Miller: I propose starting trial gas supplies through the Sudzha station at 10 a.m. tomorrow.
Vladimir Putin: For the European consumers?
Alexei Miller: Yes. And, as you noted, the Orlovka gas-measuring station will provide Balkan countries with Russian gas.
Vladimir Putin: I agree. You can start working.
Alexei Miller: Good.
Vladimir Putin: I have a question about the illegal taking of Russian gas. We are being told that it is still possible. What did you say about it at today's meeting with our European consumers in Brussels?
Alexei Miller: As you said after the meeting with the Czech Prime Minister and chairman of the EU, if Ukraine continues to steal Russian gas, we will reduce gas supplies in the amount equal to the volume stolen by Ukraine. I expressed this position at today's meeting in Brussels.
Vladimir Putin: By this, I mean illegal taking of gas on any grounds.
Alexei Miller: Yes. According to the transit agreement, 100% of the gas that Russia and Gazprom pump at Ukraine's border should leave Ukraine for our European consumers.
Vladimir Putin: Good. We will take this into account.
Alexei Miller: Very well.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you.