Ukraine still interested in setting up intl gas transport consortium - Yanukovych
Ukraine is interested in preserving and augmenting the volume of gas transportation and views the establishment of a gas transport consortium as a way to attain this goal, President Viktor Yanukovych said.
"The pumping volumes have dropped to about 70 billion cubic meters [a year], which is disadvantageous to us and threatens the maintenance of this system in keeping it in a reliable condition. We are interested in seeing this system working efficiently and economically profitably and in being reliable partners to both Europe and Russia," Yanukovych said in an interview with Ukrainian media on Thursday.
The Ukrainian leader explained the delay with the gas transport consortium's project by the fact that the gas transport system was part of Naftogaz until recently, Yanukovych said. He also suggested that foreign auditors should determine the value of the Ukrainian gas transport system along with the underground storage facilities.
"Until we have done this job, it would be impossible to talk about setting up any consortium," he said.
The December 17 agreements with Russia on reducing the price for Russian gas have opened new opportunities for negotiations, he added.
"Our goal is to find conditions and motives to help us attain the goals we set for ourselves," Yanukovych said.
The Ukrainian gas transport system is currently capable of pumping 120 billion cubic meters of gas annually and can increase this figure to 180 billion cubic meters following modernization.
It was reported earlier that Ukraine expected gas transportation across its territory to amount to 82 billion cubic meters in 2014.
Gas transportation through Ukraine grew by 1% to 69.88 billion cubic meters in the first ten months of 2013. Gas transportation in 2012 had declined by 19.1% to 84.26 billion cubic meters.