KIEV, February 1 (Itar-Tass) – Ukraine does its best to agree with Russia on free transit of Central Asia’s gas. The talks to the effect will start in the near future, Ukrainian Government’s Envoy for Cooperation with Russia, CIS and EurAsEC member countries, Valery Muntiyan told Itar-Tass on Friday.
In his words, a working group for drafting an agreement on gas pipeline transit has already started its activity. However, Ukraine’s delegation did not take part in the first meeting. “The group of the kind already works in the CIS. It had one meeting,” the envoy said.
At the end of September 2012, the Free Trade Agreement became effective after its ratification in the parliaments of Belarus, Russia and Ukraine.
Besides, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Moldova and Kyrgyzstan plan to join the agreement. Under the document, the sides of the agreement should start talks on drafting a document on the gas pipeline transit to finalize it within six months after the Free Trade Agreement becomes effective.
There is no a special item on the free trade of the pipeline transport services for oil and gas transit, Muntiyan said. “The document envisages a free approach to the whole market of services,” the government’s envoy said, adding, that Ukraine “has all chances to receive a free transit of Turkmenistani gas via Russia.”
In his words, “the six-month period will end soon, and we should be quick in order to have time for launching talks on free transit of Central Asia’s gas.”
Ukraine hopes that this agreement will allow it to get an approach to the Russian gas transportation network for the transit of Central Asia’s gas, including from Turkmenistan. Due to the high cost of Russia’s gas, Ukraine started an active work in order to diversify gas import. In particular, Ukraine bought gas on Europe’s spot market in November-December, thus importing about 55 million cubic metres in compliance with the contract signed with Germany’s RWE company. In addition, the republic plans to produce shale gas.
Earlier this week, Acting Director of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry’s Information Policy Department Yevgeny Perebeinos said that President Viktor Yanukovich would make a visit to Turkmenistan in the near future. He reaffirmed that Ukrainian Foreign Minister Leonid Kozhara had visited Ashgabat on January 22-23 in order to prepare Yanukovich’s meeting. During his working trip, Kozhara was received by Turkmenistani President Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov. “During the talks, the Turkmenistani head of state said that the Ukrainian president’s visit would give a fresh impetus to the development of Ukrainian-Turkmenistani relations,” Perebeinos said back then.
“During the meeting, the two sides focused on the stepping up of bilateral interaction in the oil and gas sphere and in the construction industry,” he said, adding, “Turkmenistan is an important trade partner of Ukraine in the context of energy resource diversification.”
On January 30, President Berdymukhammedov received Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Boiko, who had arrived in Ashgabat as the head of the representative delegation for the participation in the meeting of the Turkmenistani-Ukrainian Intergovernmental Commission on Economic Cooperation.
Under the official information, “the two sides exchanged views on the major aspects of the long-standing mutually beneficial cooperation, including in the oil and gas sphere, transport and construction industry.”