The creation of an international consortium for managing the Ukrainian gas transportation system was again discussed in Kiev on Tuesday. The consortium has not been created yet, however on Tuesday its main participants (Russia and Ukraine) agreed to construct a new gas pipeline, which would enable them to transport an additional 28bn cubic meters of gas to Europe annually. The construction will cost from $2bn to $2.5bn, the Izvestia newspaper reported. The Russian delegation that arrived in Kiev included Gazprom Deputy CEOs Alexander Ryazanov and Yury Komarov. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Viktor Khristenko headed the delegation. The matter is that Russia and Ukraine are behind the schedule of creating the consortium. A business plan and a package of documents necessary for forming the consortium were to be made this winter and the consortium was to be created in April or May 2003. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma agreed to form the consortium on June 10, 2002. Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and his Ukrainian counterpart Anatoly Kinakh signed an absolutely empty agreement, which did not contain any details, in October 2002. The sides could not agree how to divide shares in the consortium. Russia insisted on 50 percent, while Ukraine wanted 51 percent. Then, Russia and Ukraine could not decide whether to admit Germany to the consortium or not. In its turn, Ruhrgas wanted to participate in the consortium only by opening lines of credits in European banks.
The Federation Council may gather for the meeting on October 4 to consider new laws on the accession of new territories to Russia after the referenda