Medvedev: Ukraine not interested in Russia's help to modernize Ukrainian gas transport system
Cooperation in the modernization of Ukraine's gas transport system is most likely not among the Ukrainian side's priorities, according to Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
"[Let me talk] about the modernization of the gas transport system. We're interested in this issue if our Ukrainian friends find it interesting. But I've got a feeling that this issue is no longer of interest to our Ukrainian partners. Several times we've offered our services in modernization - in possible parameters, legal forms of cooperation, in investment we're ready to inject. But unfortunately we haven't made any decisions. Thus, I conclude that this is not a very important problem for our Ukrainian partners now. In the end, this is your gas transport system, and it's up to you whether it's well polished or gets rusty," he said at a joint press conference with Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov in Kaluga.
"Indeed, we're using alternative routes for supplies. I see no evil in this. This is the very competition that every state strives for and builds its economic potential on," Medvedev added.
He acknowledged gas issues are on the agenda of all the talks that Ukraine and Russia hold.
"On the other hand, there is a subject that could be discussed and there are certain legal realities that exist at the moment. And they are that we've got several agreements with Ukraine on gas supplies and transportation. These are long-term agreements and they have to be fulfilled. These agreements are compulsory, these are international accords. Questions of whether prices are fair and the conditions of current cooperation could naturally be raised. But in our view, everything under the current agreements should be observed until we agree on general parameters of cooperation, simply because there could be no other way under international, interstate agreements, as this is what international law says," he added.
"Therefore, any comments we sometimes hear – if this goes that way, we won't fulfill this or that, look more like emotionally based assessments, and one should proceed from spirit and letter of the existing agreements," he said.
While commenting on Medvedev's statements, Azarov said: " 'Gas prices are okay, Ukraine is not interested in the modernization of the gas transport system, and Ukraine shows no interest' – this is not the case, I need to say. Dmitry Anatolyevich [Medvedev] didn't mean that."