KIEV, April 23 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine has already sent offers on the joint modernization and exploitation of its natural gas pipeline network to a number of American and European companies, Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuriy Prodan told journalists Wednesday.
“We addressed corresponding European institutions saying that we are ready to modernize and exploit our gas pipeline network. A similar offer was made to US companies,” Prodan said, without revealing the names of the companies.
On Tuesday, acting Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said after talks with US Vice President Joe Biden that Ukraine was ready to discuss with European and American investors the joint modernization and exploitation of its natural gas pipeline network.
“The best answer for Ukraine’s energy dependence on Russia will be the presence of European and American investors in Ukraine. We are ready to consider the issues of the joint modernization and exploitation of the Ukrainian gas transport system,” Yatsenyuk said.
Prodan stressed that no specific plan for the project has been agreed upon, and that the sides are not yet engaged in official talks on the issue.
“There can be alternatives for the joint exploitation; they have not been outlined yet. These are simply our suggestions,” the minister said.
Over the years, Kiev repeatedly suggested the creation of a tripartite natural gas consortium with the European Union and Russia. Russia rejected the idea, calling for a bilateral model for the management of Ukraine's gas transportation system.