Kiev courts Libya for oil and gas

Sept. 3, 2009 at 10:32 AM
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TRIPOLI, Libya, Sept. 3 (UPI) -- Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko met with Libyan officials to discuss the terms of oil and gas deals amid changes in Kiev's energy ties with Moscow.

Tymoshenko met with representatives from Libyan oil companies in Tripoli to discuss bilateral efforts in the energy sector.

The Ukrainian premier in July said Kiev was interested in using Ukrainian and Libyan funds to construct a new oil refinery in her country.

The move comes amid changes in the tense energy relationship between Kiev and Moscow. Russian gas giant Gazprom briefly cut gas supplies to Ukraine following a bitter January row over gas debts.

Tymoshenko following a meeting in Poland with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said her country would pay only for the amount of gas it consumes, not a predetermined volume.

She said in statements on her Web site that Kiev would buy around 1.16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas for 2010, adding Moscow would not punish Kiev for any changes in its gas relationship.

"There will be no financial sanctions -- this has been ruled out," she said.

In addition to those changes, she expected the price of gas traveling through her territory would increase by as much as 70 percent as of Jan. 1 depending on oil prices.

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