To arrange the swap operation of natural gas with Ukraine, the technical glitches are now being removed, Slovak PM Robert Fico said on January 15. Fico said that it's possible that Slovak President Ivan Gašparoviè will meet his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yushchenko on Friday, January 16, the TASR newswire wrote. "It would be another important diplomatic move towards ensuring that gas supplies arrive in Slovakia."
Regarding the negotiation with RWE, a European electricity and gas company, to supply gas to Slovakia through the Jamal pipeline branch via Belarus and Poland, Fico stated that it is technically feasible. "The only thing we need to do is to persuade the partners who draw gas from Jamal to provide Slovakia with a certain share of gas," conceded the premier. He indicated that this complicated variant will only be considered if the swap program, or the exchange of gas with Ukraine, cannot implemented.
On Saturday, January 17, a summit on the gas crisis will be held in Moscow. In Fico's opinion it makes no sense unless Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko also takes part. "Though it isn’t yet confirmed, I welcome the information that the Ukrainian premier will be in attendance at the Moscow summit," declared Fico, adding that the EU should also participate in the summit and it should not limit itself to the role of observer. "This includes vitally important interests of Slovakia," emphasised the premier, who said he will do his best to resolve the crisis as soon as possible.