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Yeliseyev: GTS was, is and will be property of the state

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Ukraine won't sell its gas network to Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom, Ukraine's deputy foreign minister said.
"Nothing is for sale in Ukraine," Kostiantyn Yeliseyev, Ukraine's deputy foreign minister, said in an interview with the Euractiv news Web site. "Our gas transport system was, is and will be the property of the Ukrainian state."

He added, however: "If we will declare that every part is our property and nobody can be involved, then our gas transport system will become outdated. We need business projects, so let's look at what we can do."

Ukraine is a key energy transit country for the European Union. Nearly 80 percent of Russian gas exports to Europe are sent through Ukraine, satisfying one-fifth of the continent's demand. Ukraine's new President Viktor Yanukovych is willing to modernize the gas sector, but he does not have the money for it. Ukraine's economy is in shambles and the national budget overstretched.
 
While Ukraine needs Western companies' investments in its gas sector, Yanukovych also has to please Russia to keep gas import bills affordable. Observers say Ukraine needs to open up the gas sector to foreign investors or risk an unstable network that is unable to supply Europe.
Written by: Publisher Wednesday, 07 April 2010 13:42 Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 April 2010 13:52