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GORKI, March 21 (Itar-Tass) – Russia will participate in a gas consortium with Ukraine only if that country quits certain international energy agreements, Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev told a group of European reporters.
“As for a consortium, here the Ukrainians should realise what they want. If they want this consortium – a bilateral, a trilateral – they should make us interested in participating there,” he said answering a question from an Interfax reporter.
For Russia “now this is not what is considered to be a must, this is not what we are desperate about,” Medvedev said.
“However, if there is an interesting idea on how to work, if we feel we are considered as full-fledged long-term partners, we, surely, with the Ukrainian counterparts will continue the discussion,” he continued.
The prime minister is sure “the offer /from Ukraine/ should be interesting.”
“How can it be interesting? Only if we realise that our interests – here, namely, the interests of Gazprom and those of the country itself – are guaranteed. And how can they be guaranteed? Where we do not find ourselves in a situation, where under certain conditions we are simply fired from the consortium or it is announced as not complying some or European regulations, or, say, an agreement, which covers our relations with the Energy Charter,” he explained.
“Thus, an alliance between Russia and Ukraine may be only if Ukraine quits several institutions, including the agreement on joining the Energy Union,” Medvedev said.
He stressed again, that this scenario may be “not interesting for Ukraine.”
“Well, then we shall be developing our own way, and Ukraine may remain in any international agreements, it is its sovereign right,” the prime minister added.
Medvedev said negotiations on the topic had been going on at various levels, including on the presidential, and “the Ukrainian counterparts have been sending signals to us, but as yet the process is not going beyond those.”
Medvedev said that Ukraine for Russia “is very interesting as a counterpart, we have not lost interest to it.”
But “the gas topic has changed.”
“We have to acknowledge that as in 2012 the Nord Stream pipeline went operational, as also in 2012 the South Stream’s construction began, meaning other development of our gas relations with Europe, perhaps, now this topic is not that vital as it used to be several years earlier. Anyway, we are still ready to discuss with the Ukrainian counterparts any integration issues,” the prime minister said.