KIEV, April 16. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine can initially receive up to 3 billion cubic meters of European gas via Slovakia, parliament-appointed Ukrainian Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuriy Prodan said. Ukraine held talks with the European Union on this issue on April 15, Prodan said on Wednesday.
“There are some positive signs because the European Commission has started studying our suggestions regarding reverse gas supplies and their increase. This will not require serious technical steps,” he said.
The European Commission will study Kiev’s proposals within a week. In the meantime, Slovakia “should prepare necessary legal documents”, Prodan said.
He could not say when a memorandum on reverse gas supplies would be signed. “We expect the European Commission to consider our proposals. Then we’ll make the decision,” Prodan said.
The memorandum drafted by Slovakia implies that supplies will begin as soon as the necessary technical conditions are created. Slovakia is prepared to supply up to 8 million cubic metres of gas per day and about 3 billion cubic metres per year, Prodan said.
Reverse supplies can begin from November 1, 2014, he added. “They (Slovakia) later suggested increasing gas supplies up to 20 million cubic metres per day,” Prodan said.
On April 2, parliament-appointed Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Ukraine was looking forward to a political decision by the EU to start reverse gas supplies from Slovakia.
“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 billion cubic metres 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.