chief executive Pierre Pringuet. We start 2009/10 with confidence and determination: our priorities are clear, continue to reduce debt and strengthen investments behind our strategic brands.
The head of Russian gas giant Gazprom, Alexei Miller, has expressed concern that Ukraine might not be able to pay its gas bills beyond 2010.Alexei Miller2010Alexei Miller described Ukrainian relations as good Mr Miller said Ukraine was currently fulfilling all its obligations, using funds from its currency reserves, the IMF and other sources. However, he said it was unclear if the reserves would cover the next Russian gas bill, due on 7 February 2010. He also expressed concern about Ukraine's presidential elections. They are due to be held Louboutin Scarpe Outlet in January 2010, and could introduce political risks. Tough lineDescribing the current payment situation, Mr Miller said it looked as though the reserves were sufficient to pay Gazprom until the end of December. Relations could not be better, he told a visiting group of foreign academics and journalists at Gazprom's headquarters in southern Moscow.But he added that when he had asked officials at the Ukrainian gas company Neftegazukraine how bills would be Christian Louboutin Scarpe paid in 2010, they had answered by swearing broadly and saying they had no idea. He confirmed that Ukraine had recently asked if it could use future transit fees from Russia to help pay Gazprom for gas supplies. Mr Miller said he had informed the Russian government, but been instructed to stick strictly to the contract and refuse the request. I hope there will be no new catastrophe, he said ominously - apparently not ruling out a new Russia-Ukrainian winter gas crisis. Mr Miller also took a tough line when it came to negotiations with Turkey over routing a planned South Stream gas pipeline Scarpe Louboutin under the Black Sea to Turkey, bypassing Ukraine. A suggestion from a Turkish visitor in the group that this could help turn Turkey into a major regional gas transit hub was brusquely rebuffed. Turkey cannot re-export Russian gas to other countries. It