Slovakia agrees to ship gas to Ukraine
Ukraine is trying to secure alternative supplies to those from Russia's Gazprom since Russia annexed Crimea last month and Gazprom nearly doubled prices for its gas to levels Ukraine is refusing to pay.
Under the deal to be signed between the two countries' pipeline operators, Slovakiawill make technical adjustments to an old unused pipeline so it can ship over 3 billion cubic metres of gas a year to Ukraine from around October, rising to up to 10 bcm by early next year.
Ukraine has been pushing for another technical solution allowing much larger volumes but Slovakia is refusing that because it fears it would violate its contracts with Gazprom.
"I am convinced that this solution is the first possible and realistic one, and one which does not threaten the energy security of Slovakia and other EU countries," Slovak Economy Minister Tomas Malatinsky said in a statement. ■