Russia and Ukraine could base their relations in the gas sphere on a similar model to that which Russia has with Belarus, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said on Monday.
Russian energy giant Gazprom holds 50 percent of the Belarusian gas transportation company Beltransgaz and is currently holding talks on acquiring the remaining half of the company’s stock.
“In Gazprom’s view, gas cooperation (with Ukraine) could be based on the same model we are using in our work with our Belarusian friends,” Miller said at a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Ukrainian Energy Minister Yury Boiko.
During the meeting, Boiko made proposals for the development of gas transportation cooperation between Russia and Ukraine “covering not only cooperation in the sphere of gas transportation but also cooperation in other areas,” Miller said.
“We’ll study these proposals, evaluate them and send our reply to our Ukrainian friends,” Miller added.
Gazprom has long been trying to get a stake in the Ukrainian gas transportation system to ensure uninterrupted gas supplies to Europe. Ukraine’s gas network, which includes more than 37,500 kilometers of pipe plus 71 compressed air plants and 13 underground gas storage facilities, pumps 141 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe a year and accounts for 80 percent of Russian gas transit to EU nations.
Kiev has so far resisted Gazprom’s attempts to buy a stake in its gas transportation system, saying this move would undermine Ukraine’s sovereignty.