President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: Igor Ivanovich, yesterday, you and the representatives of Gazprom signed a trilateral document, a protocol on the transit of Russian gas via Ukrainian territory. We have signed this document and in our view it sets out conditions that make it possible to resume transit. What is the situation today? Has the Russian Federation Government received the document signed by our Ukrainian partners? What do you plan to do now?
Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin: Dmitry Anatolyevich, as at 4 p.m. today, the Government has not yet received the document in full signed by our partners.
It is indeed the case that during the talks yesterday between Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and Prime Minister of the Czech Republic (which currently holds the presidency of the European Union) Mr Topolanek procedures were agreed on for monitoring the transit of Russian gas to Europe. I signed this document on behalf of the Russian Government and Alexei Borisovich Miller [Chairman of Gazprom's Management Committee] signed it on behalf of Gazprom. These procedures were agreed upon with the European Union officials. Our Czech partners have initialed the document, for it is Energy Commissioner [Andris] Piebalgs who has to sign it on behalf of the European Union, and the Ukrainian Government and Gazprom’s partner Naftogaz are to sign it on behalf of Ukraine. We have not yet received the final document.
Dmitry Medvedev: In this context, I want you to act according to the following considerations. Our position regarding the situation that arose as a result of Ukraine’s illegal action and the theft of gas that has gone on for a considerable length of time remains unchanged. We will resume transit only on two conditions.
The first condition is that we must have a document that has been signed by all the parties and that is faithful to the text of the document drafted, approved and signed by Russia.
The second condition is the real presence of observers at the locations where monitoring will be conducted, that is to say at the Ukrainian gas measurement stations and underground gas reservoirs. If these two conditions are fulfilled, we will resume transit.
We are ready to resume transit as soon as these conditions are met. The sooner this happens, the easier it will be to resolve the problems that Ukraine has caused for European consumers and for everyone involved in this whole process. I ask you to act in accordance with these considerations and keep me regularly informed.
Igor Sechin: Yes, Dmitry Anatolyevich. Our expectation is that the document that we are waiting for will be precisely the one that was signed in Moscow. I can also inform you that yesterday, Gazprom organised a meeting with observers from European countries, and work with the observers has already begun in Russia.
Dmitry Medvedev: Good, but even if these conditions are met and transit resumes, our position will be of course that if the observers detect that gas is disappearing, that is to say being illegally siphoned off, or stolen, to put it into simple language, we will reduce the transit volumes accordingly. If this becomes a constant practice we could be forced to halt transit again. I just want you to keep this in mind and remind all the other parties involved.