13 Nov 2009 15:05

Slovak PM to discuss gas supplies in Moscow

MOSCOW. Nov 13 (Interfax) - Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico plans to discuss the security of Russian natural gas shipments during his upcoming visit to Moscow, Slovakia's Economy Minister Lubomir Jahnatek told journalists.

"Our Prime Minister Robert Fico will hold a meeting with Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin. They will discuss this issue [the security of gas supplies]," Jahnatek said.

Slovakia has been paying for Russian gas supplies on time, and it expects undisrupted shipments, the minister said.

"Slovakia buys gas at world market prices, and we have a right to undisrupted gas deliveries from Russia. We expect Russia to guarantee such deliveries, as well as the fact that Slovakia will not become hostage to relations between Russia and other countries," he said.

Senior Slovak officials have held meetings with representatives of the Gazprom Export company following the gas crisis in January 2009, Jahnatek said.

"During our negotiations with Gazprom Export, the government of Slovakia asked the company to draw up a document outlining possible solutions to such a crisis in order to prevent a situation where bilateral disputes and conflicts have a dozen hostages," the minister said.

Slovakia's government, however, has not yet received Gazprom Export's response to its request, he said.

"We still do not know whether or not Gazprom Export has drafted this document, although this task was mentioned at a session of energy ministers from European Union member-countries," he added.

The EU has already launched work on such documents, Jahnatek said.

"We have already begun drafting such a document within the European Union," the minister said.

"We hope that a January-style situation will not occur in the future," Jahnatek said.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is expected to visit Slovakia in April 2010, he added.