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Ukraine looks forward to reverse gas flow from Slovakia – Yatsenyuk

April 02, 2014, 14:03 UTC+3 KIEV

Kiev hopes Slovakia is capable of pumping through 20 bln cubic meters of gas as the price of EU gas is lower than Russia’s

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KIEV, April 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine is looking forward to a political decision by the EU to start reverse gas supplies from Slovakia, parliament-appointed Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Wednesday.

“Slovakia and its gas operators have all technical resources in place to start reserve gas flows. All they need is a final 'go-ahead',” Yatsenyuk told Dragon Capital Investor Conference.

“We hope that Slovakia is capable of pumping through 20 bln cubic meters of gas. The price of EU gas is lower than Russia’s: $350 per 1,000 cubic metres. Now it's entirely a matter of politics,” he said.

Ukrainian national joint stock company Naftogaz is negotiating with Germany to become a “direct buyer” of fuel without any mediators, Naftogaz Board Chairman Andrey Kobolev said on Tuesday, April 1.

Several gas traders have contracts with Germany. So, Naftogaz still hopes to start fuel purchases from that country on the border with Ukraine.

Ukraine “has been working with Slovakia” to import gas from other EU states through that country.

In the meantime, there are some obstacles in this issue, Kobolev said.

“We have a relatively clear-cut action plan, but we cannot announce it yet,” he said.

Slovakia itself takes a very cautious position on this issue. It names such variant as “one of the scenarios” and fears that Ukraine will not pay.

“Slovakia is ready to help. However, any aid is economically limited,” the Slovakian government said in March.

The price of Russian natural gas for Ukraine is $385.5 per 1,000 cubic meters starting April 1.

Gazprom's "December discount" for Ukraine can no longer be used.

Ukraine has failed to meet its commitments to pay its 2013 gas debt and effect 100% payment for current supplies, which has further increased its gas bill, Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller said on Tuesday, April 1.

"As of now, the debt has reached 1.711 billion dollars," he said.

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