Vladimir Putin Satisfied with Progress of Russian-Ukrainian-German Gas Consortium Negotiations

Russian President Vladimir Putin is satisfied with how the work is going in the creation of the Russian-Ukrainian-German consortium for the use of a Ukrainian gas transport network. Specialists have already analysed a large volume of information, and at the recent tri-lateral meeting of representatives of Rurgas there was a sufficient amount of material submitted, said Putin while answering a question from journalists in Yalta on May 2 after a round of discussions with Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma.

Putin also said that 'a specific agreement on the gas consortium could be reached by Fall. Russia wants to prepare a plan for the technical and economic substantiation and begin to understand the participation of all sides in the project in terms of cost.' Putin said that 'it is necessary to determine a primary analysis of the condition of the gas transport system of Ukraine, how much money must be invested in order to not only support the network but also to expand it for increasing exports of Russian gas to Western Europe.'

Vladimir Putin also discussed with Leonid Kuchma the possibility of using the territory of the Ukraine for transiting Russian oil exports and electrical power. This would allow for the formation of united energy politics in which Russia, Ukraine, EU and Asian countries would be involved.

In May 2003 in Kiev two tri-lateral meetings for questions of the creation of a gas consortium are planned. One meeting, on the level of specialists, will take place on May 7. A second high-level meeting will take place at the end of May.

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