SLOVAK gas pipeline operator Eustream and Ukrainian operator Ukrtransgaz signed a memorandum of understanding on supplying gas from Slovakia to Ukraine on April 28 in Bratislava. José Manuel Barroso, the president of the European Commission, who is visiting Slovakia, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, European Commissioner for Inter-Institutional Relations and Administration Maroš Šefčovič, Slovak Economy Minister Tomáš Malatinský and Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuri Prodan attended the signing of the memorandum.

“I believe that all the steps that were agreed upon in the memorandum will be fulfilled in a short [period of] time,” Fico said, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Barroso added that the memorandum “is also about the effort to diversify gas supplies in Europe”.

“It will strengthen the security of the European Union,” Barroso said, as quoted by SITA.

Slovakia will begin supplying gas to Ukraine as early as the end of this year via a currently unused gas pipeline between Vojany and Uzhgorod, which should gradually transport 10 billion cubic metres of gas to the neighbouring country annually.

In order to fulfil the agreement Slovakia will have to invest some €20 million annually in Vojany, as reported by SITA.

“The project will require small technical modifications that will be implemented by Eustream,” Fico said, as quoted by SITA, adding that the cost of the project, “with all the payments that pertain to it”, is standard.

It is important that Ukraine quickly proceed in unifying its legal and regulatory framework with the energy legislation of the EU, said European Commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger.

“This will increase the trust of investors and help the country to modernise its energy sector,” Oettinger said, as quoted by SITA.

The possibility of the reverse gas flow from Slovakia to Ukraine has been discussed for more than a year. The negotiations became more intensive over the past few weeks after Russia increased the price of natural gas for Ukraine. The talks were hindered by different opinions between Ukraine and Slovakia over which pipelines would be used. While Slovakia had proposed using the unused gas pipeline connecting Vojany and Uzhgorod, the Ukrainians had suggested using the free capacities of four currently operating pipelines that deliver gas from Ukraine to Slovakia (the so-called “big solution”). The latter alternative would have violated agreements with third parties, however, especially Gazprom, which Slovakia wanted to avoid doing, SITA wrote.

Source: SITA

To read more about this story please see: Slovakia will supply Ukraine with gas

Compiled by Spectator staff from press reports

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