KIEV, September 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine and the European Commission (EC) plan to organize a roundtable meeting in Brussels in a bid to find investors and an operator to manage Ukraine’s gas transportation system, Yuri Vitrenko, a chief adviser to the CEO of Ukraine’s Naftogaz, said on Tuesday.
“At the European Commission’s request, we plan to organize a roundtable meeting in Brussels in the near future,” Vitrenko told the 24 TV channel. “There is no time to hold tete-a-tete talks with a big number of companies that are interested in this issue. So, we agreed with the European Commission that it would organize a roundtable meeting with participation of dozens of European companies.”
Ukraine “needs companies to help it quickly integrate into the European and global markets,” he said, adding that the roundtable meeting would also be attended by representatives from US companies.
Ukraine’s law on reforming the gas transportation system was published in the official publication of the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) on Tuesday and will come into effect on September 10. Under the document, the gas transportation system and underground storage facilities will remain in the government ownership but could be placed under the management of specially established companies, where the Ukrainian government would have a controlling stake and the remaining shares could be acquired by European and US companies.
Three-party gas talks
A three-party meeting between Ukraine, Russia and the European Union on gas may be held in Vienna on September 16, Vitrenko said on Tuesday.
“We spoke with the representative from the European Commission’s energy department Klaus-Dieter Borchardt. He said a meeting is scheduled for September 16,” Vitrenko said, adding that Vienna was among possible venues for the meeting.
He said that the sides were to agree the agenda by September 16. “Talks are to be pragmatic,” Vitrenko said. “When we see that there is no more political pressure, we discuss economic issues. We must be sure that the talks proceed in a businesslike format."
The throughput capacity of the Ukrainian gas transportation is 288 billion cubic meters at the entrance and 178.5 billion cubic meters at the exit, including 142.5 billion cubic meters to European countries and 3.5 billion cubic meters to Moldova.
Ukraine’s gas transportation system consists of 72 compressor stations, 110 production shops and 1,451 gas distribution stations. The overall length of gas pipelines operated by the company is 38,600 kilometers, including 22,200 kilometers of trunk pipelines and 16,400 kilometers of extensions.