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Russia is willing to cooperate on modernising Ukrainian GTS

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Ukraine's new government, formed by President Viktor Yanukovych after he was inaugurated in March, this week affirmed that the country's gas transportation network is for sale to no one, including Russian gas monopoly Gazprom.
At the same time, Russia has made it clear that it is willing to cooperate with the European Union in any project to modernize the network, which includes more than 60,000 kilometers of pipe plus 71 compressed air plants and 13 underground gas storage facilities. Last year, it carried over three-quarters of natural gas exports from Russia to Europe.

Fears were raised during Ukraine's hotly contested election in February that the gas system might be privatized or sold to Gazprom. Presidential candidate and then-prime minister Yuliya Tymoshenko had personally written a law passed by the Ukrainian Rada (parliament) that set out everal different ways in which the gas transportation system could be alienated from state property, and forbade them all in detail. This law has the force of a constitutional provision.

In the event, the new government is seeking to work out a "three-sided" plan involving Ukraine, Russia and the European Union to upgrade the network. In its talks with Russia, Ukraine has four goals: to renegotiate current prices lower; to reconsider the June 2009 gas bilateral delivery contract; to ensure the "stability and predictability" of gas supply especially via Ukraine to Europe, and to consider options for modernizing the gas transit network.
Written by: Publisher Friday, 09 April 2010 14:17