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Azarov: Kyiv will honor gas transit commitments

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Sept. 5, 2011, 9:43 p.m. | Politics — by Interfax-Ukraine
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Ukraine will fully honor all its commitments concerning the transit of Russian natural gas to Europe, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said during a meeting with Slovak Foreign Minister Mikulas Dzurinda, according to the information department of the Cabinet's secretariat. "Yesterday, I made a statement that we believe our gas contracts with Russia to be draconian and disadvantageous. But we will fully ensure gas transportation to Europe," Azarov said.

"We will stick to the contract, while simultaneously continuing negotiations with our Russian partners," he added.

In his words, Ukraine expects the European Union to participate in the processes that will begin during the reorganization of oil and gas giant NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy and the creation of an independent Ukrainian gas production company.

Dzurinda, for his part, said that Slovakia was keen to develop energy cooperation with Ukraine.

"We are extremely interested in integrating our energy systems," the Slovak minister said.

Slovakia would like to take part in the renovation of the Ukrainian gas transportation network, he said.

"We have certified companies engaged in this kind of activities. Lately, this work has been focused on Serbia where relevant treaties are about to be signed. We would be glad to take part in similar projects with Ukraine. Three consortiums with French and German capital are ready to bid for tenders to be called in Ukraine," Dzurinda said.

Slovak companies are also very interested in shale gas extraction and the development of the Black Sea shelf, he said.

Earlier, President Viktor Yanukovych gave the government until October 1 to submit a program for the reform of NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy to the Economic Reforms Committee's Governing Council.
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