Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said on Monday that it was up to Russia to provide "technical gas" needed to maintain pipeline pressure and keep supplies flowing in additional to the amounts actually due for delivery to customers in the European Union.
"Ukraine cannot unfortunately supply the gas to the European Union" without an additional 21 million cubic meters of "technical gas" per day from Russia, Tymoshenko told reporters during a visit to Yevpatoriya in southern Ukraine, according to the Interfax-Ukraine news agency.
"We will continue to use gas provided by the Russian Federation for pumping," she added.
Russia has said Ukraine should provide the technical gas itself.
"We have already said many times that Ukraine's demand to receive 21 million cubic meters of gas a day for free ... contradicts common sense and the existing contract," Sergei Kupriyanov, spokesman for Russian gas giant Gazprom, said in a statement on Monday.