MOSCOW, January 15 (Itar-Tass) - The Russian parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, may ratify Russian-Kyrgyz agreement about cooperation in natural gas transportation, distribution and sales in the Republic of Kyrgyzstan on January 17, the head of the Duma’s Committee on CIS Affairs, Eurasian Integration and Ties with Compatriots, Leonid Slutsky, said Wednesday.
“The Committee will consider the agreement in a meeting January 16 and is ready to approve its ratification and propose the issue for discussion in the State Duma on January 17,” he said.
The deal signed on July 26, 2013 in Moscow defines the Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom and Kyrgyzgaz as organizations responsible for its implementation.
According to the documents, the Kyrgyz side provides for a set-up of Kyrgyzgaz’s100 percent stake subsidiary that will own Kyrgyzgaz’s entire property, rights and interests, including high-pressure gas pipelines, gas distribution and compressor stations, underground storages, wells, lands, buildings, equipment, raw materials, products and debts.
The new company and its legal successors are to supply gas and manage underground storages, gas distribution and sales, construction, upgrade and use of gas transportation and distribution systems, as well as other infrastructure facilities of the gas complex in Kyrgyzstan.
Meanwhile, Gazprom, which, according to the explanatory note, gets a 100-percent stake in the fresh company’s capital worth $1, is to invest no less than 20 billion roubles (about $606 million) in modernization and reconstruction of the Kyrgyz gas infrastructure, as well as guarantee the development and modernization of equipment and main gas pipelines, compliance with tariff policies under the Kyrgyz law and uninterrupted natural gas supplies to Kyrgyz consumers.
Kyrgyzstan guarantees the new company’s exclusive right to import natural gas for Kyrgyz consumers and non-interference in setting tariffs for gas transportation through Kyrgyzstan to third countries.
The 25-year agreement is subject to possible automatic prolongation for five-year terms.
“This is an important accord in terms of infrastructure, a step towards a unified gas distribution system of member countries of the future Eurasian Economic Union,” Slutsky said, adding Kyrgyzstan had already decided to join the Customs Union of Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan and was “rapidly moving towards participation in the Eurasian project.