Slovakia, Ukraine agree on LNG memorandum amidst continuing anti-government protests in Ukraine
Slovakia and Ukraine have agreed on the terms of a memorandum for the delivery of LNG from the EU, via Slovakian pipelines, to Ukraine, Slovakian pipeline operator Eustream announced, Dec. 9.
“Eustream has already completed talks with the EC and Ukrainian partners about the contents of the memorandum of understanding. We are now waiting for the stance of the Ukrainian side on organizational issues and the date for signing of the documents,” Eustream spokesperson, Vahram Chuguryan, said according to Slovakian news portal The Daily.SK.
Details of the memorandum have not been announced although the deal comes at a difficult time for Ukraine. Plagued by anti-government and pro-European protests, the country is amidst a serious crisis of confidence against pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovych.
The memorandum is regarded by some as Ukraine’s first step to becoming at least partly independent from Russia – in this case in terms of gas supply.
It is not clear, however, whether it will ultimately be signed. Ukrainian officials failed to turn up to the fist signing scheduled for Dec.4. Although negotiators put this down to the escalating protests and disarray at home, it is unclear how things will proceed after Yanukovych’s announcement that he will not be going ahead with an EU trade deal.
Eustream is part of Slovakian natural gas incumbent SPP, which is 49 percent owned by Czech energy utility Energeticky a prumyslovy holding (EPH).
EPH recently announced a successful bid for a loan of EUR 240 mln to acquire a 49 percent stake in Slovakia’s second largest energy company Stredoslavenska energetika (SSE). The stake is currently owned by French energy company EDF.