The first stage of a program to modernize Ukraine's gas transportation system with international participation will be launched in June, Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuriy Boyko said.

Ukraine has repeatedly voiced its plans to upgrade its gas transportation system that carries some 80% of Russian gas to Europe. In the next seven years, the effort is expected to cost 6.5 billion euros ($9.3bn).

"The first junction will be welded in mid-June. The European energy commissioner will arrive here," Boyko told the national TV channel Inter, according to RIA Novosti.

The World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development are among international organizations that will allocate funds for the upgrade.


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