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Russian, Slovak PMs discuss gas impasse

Russia is willing to restore gas supplies as soon as it can be sure that the gas will get to its EU-member state customers via Ukraine, the Slovak Government Office press department announced on January 7.

Russia is willing to restore gas supplies as soon as it can be sure that the gas will get to its EU-member state customers via Ukraine, the Slovak Government Office press department announced on January 7.

The announcement follows a reported phone conversation between Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. "In a similar way that Prime Minister Fico informed the Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko earlier on Wednesday, in a conversation with Putin he pointed out that he expected the Russian side to fulfil the valid obligations and contracts ... Slovakia, as a paying customer respecting all its obligations, has the right to get its supplies of natural gas," the press department said.

The supply of Russian natural gas via Ukraine has been completely cut since Tuesday (January 6) night.

During the phone conversation, Putin reportedly agreed to a proposal to grant a mandate to international observers, who could immediately decide on gas deliveries at the Russian-Ukrainian and Ukrainian-Slovak borders.

After the talk with Putin, Fico also discussed the situation with his Czech counterpart Mirek Topolánek, whose country currently holds the presidency of the European Union. TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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