KIEV, March 29 (Itar-Tass) – Ukraine has started receiving gas from the Hungarian territory, Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said on Thursday at a joint news conference with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban.
“I am very pleased to say that a milestone event has taken place today. The first gas molecule has crossed the Ukrainian-Hungarian border in a reverse direction. This is a great event without exaggeration. It’s a breakthrough towards achieving Ukraine’s energy independence,” Ukrainian Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov said.
Azarov noted that it was a vital event in the history of bilateral relations because Kiev got an opportunity to import “a considerable amount of gas”.
The existing opportunities make it possible for Ukraine to receive two billion cubic meters of “blue fuel” on a yearly basis. At the same time, experts have calculated that these volumes can be increased to 10 billion cubic meters.
Experts say that the “blue fuel” is being imported under a contract between German RWE and Naftogaz Ukrainy.
Oleg Zarubinsky, a parliamentary deputy from the ruling Party of Regions, has described the agreement with the Hungarian side as the first step towards diversification of gas supplies to Ukraine. "The government has taken concrete steps to diversify gas sources for the first time in the history of independent Ukraine,” the deputy emphasized. He added that the future of Ukraine would depend on those deliveries.
Zarubinsky believes that in this way Ukraine is building arguments for its negotiations with Gazprom on reduction of gas prices.