Gas transport system will remain the property of Ukraine. Prime Minister Mykola Azarov stressed this in an exclusive interview with the BBC Ukrainian Service that he gave while on a visit to Luxembourg.

Answering the question if "the gas pipe remains in Ukrainian hands," Azarov said: "We have been talking openly and honestly for many years and earlier, being in power, and then in opposition, and again now: we offer the EU and also Russia to determine the amount of gas transit. Europe must give guarantees to Russia that it will buy Russian gas, and Russia must give guarantees to us that these volumes of gas will be pumped and transported via our gas transport system, not bypass transport routes that will make our system unnecessary. We should obtain such guarantees. In exchange for these assurances, we are ready to consider the participation of the EU and Russia in the management and modernization of Ukraine's GTS."

However, as the Prime Minister stressed, the gas transport system would remain the property of Ukraine. "I do not think it will surprise our Russian partners, because they understand that any state doesn’t want to lose such a valuable asset," said Mykola Azarov.

In addition, Azarov noted that Ukraine despite the difficult financial situation would prevent the bankruptcy of "Naftogaz of Ukraine."

"We won't let Naftogaz bankrupt because it is the main company that supplies gas to Ukraine and transits Russian gas to Europe. Therefore, we’re not talking bankruptcy," stressed the Prime Minister and added: "The financial situation in Ukraine is difficult, but not so much that we allow bankruptcy of Naftogaz."

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