"We are conducting a dialogue, talking on the phone very often. The intensity of our meetings is high enough," he said.
At the same time, Yanukovych stressed that the gas issue exacerbated the situation. "But perhaps it is the only such example. We cannot accept the high price, it discredits the relations between Ukraine and Russia – it’s a fact. We must find a way out - it's another fact. Neither Yanukovych nor Putin invented the current gas situation. However, it is we who must find a solution," the President said.
"All the other issues are in the process of pragmatic discussion. We are discussing the integration issues of the post-Soviet countries, the EuroAsian Economic Community, the Customs Union, talking about mechanisms for cooperation," the head of the state said.
"I and Putin have quite open, good relations. We have an intention to promote the resolutions for many issues. But, unfortunately, not everything depends on our desires," Yanukovych said.
He reminded that back in 2003 - 2004, it was the intention to create a gas transport consortium. "This is a very long history. If we had succeeded, the system today would have pumped up to 200 billion cubic meters. Now, we have the figure of 100 billion. But the past is dead. We cannot go back to 2005 when the gas relations with Russia were destroyed upon the initiative of Ukraine, unfortunately. In 2010 when I became President, the ten-year gas contract had already been valid. It is bad for Ukraine but for Russia it is not good as well," he said.
"The Nord Stream pipeline system had started to being built. If our relations with Russia had been normal then, we would have qualified for participation in this project, at least. But we are where we are. Today, we continue to work upon the creating of a gas consortium, since we believe that this unique system needs to be preserved at least. All three parties - Russia, Ukraine and Europe - are interested in this issue. But the system needs large investments, which we do not have. We need to change the old gas compressors for new electrical ones and increase the capacity and volumes of pumping. We're talking about the consortium for two or three partners. The main thing is to preserve and modernize the system and make it work. This will benefit all - Ukraine, Russia and Europe," the President stated.
Yanukovych also reminded that Ukraine had signed a contract with Western companies on the gas transportation system audit. "This is a tremendous work. We hope to receive the preliminary estimates in August and learn the market price of the system. Then we can say whether Russia is able to pay for some part and invest money in the reconstruction. Ukraine is ready to create a consortium for three members. We may need a financial partner that can invest billions of euros in the reconstruction. It can be, for example, the largest bank, an investment fund or a company," he said.
"Of course, everything depends mainly on Russia and Ukraine. As soon as we decide whether we want to see a third partner, we will find it and offer our conditions. Perhaps then we will be able to involve investors through the sale of shares. We must pass this way legally and transparently. The formation of a consortium will highly improve the relations between Ukraine and Russia in the gas field," he summed up.
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