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Russia can participate in modernizing Ukrainian gas transit system: Ukraine PM
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08:52, March 25, 2009

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Russia can participate in modernizing Ukrainian gas transit system, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said here on Tuesday.

Ukraine signed a joint declaration on its gas transit system modernization with the European Commission and other parties at Monday's conference in Brussels. Russian officials were present at the conference, but complained that that they were not included in the discussions on the document.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday that Russia decided to put off government consultations with Ukraine until its natural gas pipeline declaration with the EU is clarified.

"Russia, like other countries, can also take part in investment projects, in reconstruction and modernization of Ukraine's gas transit system," Tymoshenko told a news conference.

"Neither Russia nor Europe lost yesterday. Ukraine just want to safeguard its national interests, its main gas transit pipeline," she added.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko's chief energy advisor, Bohdan Sokolovsky, said on Tuesday although a consortium with Russia controlling the pipelines was out of the question, Russian was welcome to invest and help modernize the transit system.

Ukraine currently transits 80 percent of EU's gas imports from Russia, or 20 percent of the EU's total gas consumption. A dispute between Ukraine and Russia in January led to disruptions of gas supply in several EU member states.


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