13 May 2010 18:16

Ukraine hopes to complete talks with Russia, EU on modernization of Ukraine's gas transport system by July

KYIV. May 13 (Interfax) - The Ukrainian government is hoping the negotiations on the modernization of the Ukrainian gas transport system involving Russia and the EU will be completed by early July 2010.

"We have begun negotiations with Russia and the EU. We are going back to the idea of the gas transport consortium, meaning first of all investment in the necessary resources for the full replacement of pipes and the creation of more powerful gas-pumping compressor stations to improve gas pumping. The negotiations are difficult. At a recent meeting in Sochi [on April 30], we agreed to resolve this program within two months," Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said at a meeting of the National Academy of Sciences in Kyiv on Thursday.

Azarov recalled that Ukraine is interested in the prompt modernization of the gas transport system as there will be two bypassing gas pipelines, Nord Stream and South Stream. The pipelines are being built, which together will be able to transport more gas than the Ukrainian gas transport system is transporting now.

Azarov said Ukraine intends to act decisively. "We are not hiding anything from anyone [in regard to the negotiations] and we will act decisively to the extent that we see fit," he said.