Wednesday's mission by Prime Minister Robert Fico to Russia and Ukraine was successful, according to the chairman of the Slovak-Russian Society, Ján Čarnogurský.
"He offered the Ukrainian and Russian sides an alternative that is technically possible and would solve Slovakia's problems without getting involved in the overall dispute between Russia and Ukraine. We expect Ukraine to say yes. Russia has already said yes," Čarnogurský told the SITA newswire on Thursday, January 15.
At high-level talks in Moscow , Fico, Economy Minister Ľubomír Jahnátek and Foreign Minister Ján Kubiš submitted two proposals to their partners on how to temporarily supply natural gas to Slovakia. According to the first, Ukraine could almost immediately supply 20 million cubic metres per day to Slovakia from its reservoirs close to the Slovak border. In return, Russia would supply the equivalent volume for Ukraine's domestic needs. Fico said that Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko was unable to immediately react to the proposal, but that he expected Ukraine to take a stance on it on Thursday (January 15).
The Russian company Gazprom immediately confirmed that it is possible to implement the project and top Gazprom representatives publicly stated that Gazprom would supply the same amount of gas to Ukraine as that sent by Kiev to Slovakia from its reservoirs. Fico said that at the moment the fate of the project depended on Ukraine's approval. If Kiev says "no" it would be for political reasons, and the Slovak Republic would have to react accordingly in terms of its relationship with Ukraine. SITA
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
15. Jan 2009 at 18:00