Moscow - Cooperation between Russia and Ukraine in the energy sector does not provide grounds for concerns about possible irregularities in the supply of natural gas across Ukraine and then on to Europe in 2011, Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said in an interview with the Turkish news agency Cihan
"With the current level of political dialogue on the security of gas supplies between Russia, Europe, and the transiting countries, there are no reasons to worry that there could be a physical disruption of gas supplies," Shmatko said.
Disagreements between Russia and Ukraine on gas supplies and gas transit across Ukraine to Europe caused problems several times with gas supplies to European consumers around New Year's in the past. Russia and Ukraine signed agreements in April to rule out such conflicts in the future.
"The way our dialogue with Ukraine in the gas sector is developing today does not give us grounds to worry that the next New Year's could be problematic. The time for panic that some not very confident politicians still try to resort to is gone," Shmatko said.