Italian Companies Show Interest in Russian-Ukrainian Gas Consortium

Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma has announced that German company Ruhrgas is to receive a share in a Russian-Ukrainian gas transportation consortium. This announcement was made during a visit from Russian President Vladimir Putin. Mr Kuchma added that the consortium had been registered in Kiev on January 23. Naftogaz Ukraine and Gazprom both invested USD 500 thousand in the consortium's authorised capital stock. Russian representatives on the company's supervisory board include Deputy Prime Minister Victor Khristenko and Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller while Naftogaz Director Yuri Boiko will represent Ukraine. Speaking about other possible participants in the venture, Mr Khristenko said that Italian companies had shown interest but that it is "still too early to talk about this possibility."

Mr Putin arrived in Kiev on January 27 to hold talks with the Ukrainian leaders and take part in an informal CIS summit. He returned to Moscow on January 29.

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