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Azarov: Modernization of gas transport system to cost Ukraine EUR 4.5 billion

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Sept. 10, 2012, 3:32 p.m. | Ukraine — by Interfax-Ukraine

Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has stressed the need to create an international consortium consisting of Ukraine, Russia and the European Union in order to modernize the Ukrainian gas transport system.
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Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has stressed the need to create an international consortium consisting of Ukraine, Russia and the European Union in order to modernize the Ukrainian gas transport system.

"We understand that the so-called gas conflicts of Ukraine and Russia in recent years have demonstrated the need for the joint coordination of actions on energy security. I mean the combination of the interests of Russia as a supplier, Ukraine as a transit country, and the EU as a major customer. It's clear that the Ukrainian gas transport system is in need of major modernization," Azarov wrote in an article in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, the text of which was published in the Izvestia v Ukraine newspaper on Monday, Sept. 10.

He said that the Ukrainian government had proposed transferring control of the gas transport system to an international consortium of Ukraine, Russia and the EU, which would "ensure its transparent and fair administration and be engaged in its modernization, which will cost just EUR 4.5 billion."

"The capacity of our gas transport system will grow by about 30%. Moreover, the recent extreme cold has demonstrated that neither Nord Stream nor South Stream has or can have reliable gas storage facilities, the reserves of which could be used in periods of low temperatures. Ukraine has such storage facilities," he said.

Azarov also said that "it is time to review this project," especially in view of the successful holding of Euro 2012, which confirmed Ukraine's position as a reliable partner.

"Now we are ready to implement an ambitious project in the gas sector with the participation of our strategic partners, both in the East and in the West… The mutual benefit for all parties is obvious here. Through this project, Ukraine will demonstrate its importance to Europe and make a significant contribution to ensuring energy security and stability in Europe," he said.

Azarov has previously stressed the need to create a consortium to modernize the Ukrainian gas transport system with the participation of Ukraine, Russia and the European Union.

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