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KYIV CONTINUES TO DENY PARTICIPATION IN DUBIOUS GAS-TRADING COMPANY. Naftohaz Ukrayiny head Oleksiy Ivchenko told UNIAN on 8 February that "the Ukrainian side is not represented legally" in the obscure Swiss-based RosUkrEnergo company, which was made the monopolist of gas supplies to Ukraine via a controversial Russian-Ukrainian gas deal in January (see "RFE/RL Belarus, Ukraine, and Moldova Report," 10 January 2006). Ivchenko was commenting on Russian President Vladimir Putin's statement to Spanish journalists the previous day, in which he said that a 50 percent share in RosUkrEnergo belongs to Ukraine. "RosUkrEnergo with its nontransparent 50 percent Ukrainian share is nothing compared to 15 years of gas cheating [by Ukraine]," ITAR-TASS quoted Putin as saying. "This is the share of Ukraine, so you should ask them the question." Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said earlier this month that there are no Ukrainian government bodies among the owners of RosUkrEnergo. According to media reports, a 50 percent stake in RosUkrEnergo is owned by Gazprom, while the other half belongs to undisclosed owners represented by the Vienna-based Reiffeisen Investment AG. JM