IF REVERSE flow capacity was non-existent and no incoming gas flow came from Ukraine, Slovakia would still be able to last until October solely on reserves stored in own reservoirs, Prime Minister Robert Fico said during Question Time in Parliament on June 12.

"There was a mild winter, a fact that allowed us not to drain the reservoirs fully,” Fico told the MPs as quoted by the TASR newswire. “And they're being pressurised with new gas even as we speak."

At the same time Fico stressed that reserve gas flow is “perfectly secured” as well.

"In the case of a complete stoppage of east-west gas flow, we're capable to secure such gas inflow to Slovakia through two nodes on our western borders [Czech Republic and Austria] that exceeds our domestic consumption multiple times," Fico said as quoted by TASR, explaining that Slovak consumption is in the neighbourhood of €5.5 billion and €6 billion a year [at current prices] in peak times.

Fico claimed that he doesn't want to comment on current talks between Ukraine and Russia about gas prices.

"It's pathetic and comical to have the same Ukrainian Government minister who signed an unfavourable deal complain today and refuse to pay for what he signed a couple of years back. But that's their internal problem," he added.

The recent round of talks between Moscow and Kiev held on Wednesday (June 11) in Brussels ended with no result, as the parties involved failed to arrive at an agreement on gas price and thus resolve the dispute that threatens gas flow to Europe. Russia proposed to Ukraine a provision of export duty exemption that would make the gas price drop by €73.82 from the current $485 (€358) per 1,000 cubic metres - a highest price in Europe [the transactions are in US dollars]. Kiev rejected this proposal and demands market gas prices. The current contract between the two countries dates from 2009.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.