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KIEV, April 11. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuriy Prodan, appointed to this post by the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of the country, on April 15 will hold another round of talks in Slovakia on reverse supplies of natural gas. He made this statement in the Ukrainian parliament on Friday.
“We continue negotiations with Slovakia in order to open reverse gas supplies. They may reach 200 million cubic metres per day,” he added.
The Ukrainian side said earlier there was a possibility of reverse gas supplies from Slovakia in the volume of up to 10 million cubic meters per year. The European Commission had promised support to Kiev in securing reverse gas supplies from Slovakia.
However, Slovakia is not certain whether reverse gas supplies are expedient and believes that such negotiations should be conducted with Russia’s participation. Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico in Bratislava on Thursday put forward a proposal to conduct negotiations among Ukraine, Russia, the European Union and Slovakia on the expediency of organizing reverse gas supply to Ukraine. “Negotiations only among us, Ukraine and the EU, are insufficient for finding a specific technical solution for reverse gas supplies,” he said.
“The Slovak Republic is ready to organize reverse supplies, but we defend our own interests and want to make sure that they (reverse supplies) don’t violate our basic agreement with Gazprom,” Fico added. “We expect to sign a memorandum with Ukraine, we don’t back-pedal, but we want to have guarantees. We want to know who will pay for this and whether Eustream’s investment (in the organization of reverse gas supplies) pays off. We act as a responsible partner of the European Union and NATO, we want to help,” the prime minister said.
He had previously suggested that the organization of reverse supplies of Russian gas to Ukraine might cost the Slovakian company Eustream some €20 million, and these expenses should be repaid to Bratislava.