Foreign Minister Miroslav Lajčák announced that he has received a clear mandate from the government for talks with Kiev on the reverse gas flow via Slovakia to Ukraine.
He didn't want to reveal any details to journalists after the government session on April 9, adding that he will present the official stance of Slovakia to Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk and Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan later this week. Lajčák reiterated that Slovakia has several objections to Prodan’s recent statements. For example, the Ukrainian minister accused Slovakia of blocking the launch of reverse gas flows to Ukraine.
“We’re ready to talk and provide our capacities, but this must have certain rules,” Lajčák said, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “It [the agreement] can’t run contrary to our international commitments, but I’m convinced that we’ll reach an agreement.”
US Vice President Joe Biden discussed the issue with Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico on the telephone on April 8. “It was a superb opportunity for the Slovak side to clarify the issue, which is being discussed at length, but often very superficially,” said Lajčák. Fico told Biden that Slovakia will be ready to make all necessary moves to ensure the reverse gas flow if Ukraine fulfils its financial commitments and observes the contracts on ensuring supplies of Russian gas to Slovakia, according to the press department of Government Office.
Lajčák is scheduled to attend a security forum in Kiev on April 10 and 11 as one of the speakers. He said that it will be a good opportunity for bilateral talks with interim President Oleksandr Turchynov, Yatsenyuk, Foreign Minister Andrii Deshchytsia and Petro Poroshenka, a leading candidate in the May 25 presidential election.
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
10. Apr 2014 at 10:00