KIEV, November 16 (Sputnik) – Slovakia will continue its reverse gas supplies to Ukraine, Prime Minister Robert Fico has announced at a meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
"The prime minister of Slovakia emphasized that despite the fact that gas supplies from Russia have decreased by 50%, the Slovak side will fulfill all of its obligations to Ukraine on reverse gas [supplies]," Fico said as quoted by the official website of the Ukrainian president Saturday.
Earlier on Saturday, Elena Bianchi, a spokesperson for the Slovak president's office, told Sputnik that Poroshenko was planning an official visit to Slovakia on Sunday.
"Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko will make a one-day official visit to Slovakia on Sunday. In Bratislava he will hold talks with Slovak President Andrej Kiska and then with the participants of a summit of the Visegrad Four [V4] presidents," Bianchi said.
According to the spokesperson, leaders of the Visegrad Group, or V4, which includes the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, will share the economic and political experience of their countries with the Ukrainian president.
When Russia cut off gas deliveries to Ukraine over its massive gas debt in June, Kiev was forced to resort to reverse supplies of Russian gas from Eastern European countries. In September, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary supplied Russian gas to Ukraine.
In October, the final round of gas talks between Russia and Ukraine, brokered by the European Union, finished with the signing of a "winter package" agreement securing Russian gas supplies to Ukraine until March 2015.
The agreement stipulates that Russia resumes gas supplies to Ukraine following a three-month break in deliveries caused by Kiev's massive gas debt in excess of $5 billion. Moscow also agreed to grant Kiev a $100 discount on the price per 1,000 cubic meters of gas, while Kiev assured it would pay $3.1 billion to cover part of its debt to Russia's energy giant Gazprom by the end of 2014.
At the beginning of this month Ukraine's energy company Naftogaz said it had transferred the first $1.45 billion tranche of its gas debt to Russia, but emphasized that it will purchase gas from Gazprom only if needed as European companies will continue to be the main suppliers of fuel throughout the winter.