Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico submitted two alternatives concerning the fast-tracked resumption of natural gas supplies from Russia to his Ukrainian and Russian counterparts Yulia Tymoshenko and Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, January 14, the government’s press department announced.
After negotiations with Tymoshenko and Putin in Kiev and Moscow respectively, Fico also met representatives of the Russian state-controlled gas company Gazprom. Slovak Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek and Slovak Foreign Affairs Minister Ján Kubiš were also present at the meetings, the TASR newswire reported.
The first proposal concerned the possible use of the Yamal gas pipeline, which is used to transport Russian gas through Belarus and Poland to Germany. The second option was a "swap operation", where gas could be supplied by Ukraine from its own reservoirs in the west of the country. In return, Ukraine would be able to keep the same amount of gas designated for Slovakia that crosses Ukrainian territory from Russia.
Gazprom board members at the meetings confirmed such a "swap operation" is technically possible, and said Russia would supply Ukraine with gas as soon as Ukraine sends the gas to Slovakia. Fico and Jahnátek said they had immediately launched negotiations with all parties, and Gazprom has started to examine the possibility of using the Yamal pipeline. TASR
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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