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Eduard Stavitskiy, Ukraine's Minister of Energy and Coal Industry, has said that hopes an agreement about the reverse gas supplies from Europe through Slovakia will be signed by the end of 2013, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine informs.
Energy market experts point out to the statement made by Marlene Holtsner, Press Secretary to EU commissioner Guenther Oettinger to the effect that Ukraine and Slovakia have signed an agreement about partial reverse gas supplies to Ukraine. The complete signing of the document is expected before the end of 2013.
The pact providing reversed supplies of over 10 billion cubic meters of gas annually was signed by the Ukrainian and Slovakian operators of gas pipelines Ukrtransgaz and EUStream.
Experts say that final signing of all documents is delayed due to Ukraine's unwillingness to guarantee a mandatory pumping through Ukraine of at least 10 billion cubic meters of gas. It is assumed that the mandatory volume of gas will not be specified in the document. The position of the Ukrainian side appears to be grounded, gas market experts say.
Transiting gas through Slovakia, Ukraine may also face the issue of pumping gas whose price on the European gas market is not beneficial.
The agreements to be signed include construction of a short bridge pipeline for reverse gas supplies scheduled to begin in the second half of 2014.
According to experts, if we manage to sign all agreements on reversing gas through Slovakia, Ukraine will make a significant headway in energy independence.