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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Slovakia Upset Over Gas Talks

Slovakia said Friday that it was upset by slow progress in its talks with Russia over new gas storage and guarantees of supply stability after suffering badly in January during a gas dispute between Moscow and Kiev.

Slovakian Economy Minister Lubomir Jahnatek said his government asked Gazprom Export to prepare a document to outline anti-crisis measures but has had no response so far.

“We don’t know whether the documents are being prepared to prevent the crisis from repeating,” he told reporters after meeting Russian officials. “The second goal is to increase the security of Slovakia’s gas storage, and here we don’t have clarity either.

“We made a proposal to Gazprom to build new gas storage facilities on Slovak territory. We are still talking, and are a bit upset by this,” he said.

Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko told reporters that Russia was interested in the storage idea, following bilateral government talks in Moscow.

“Over the course of 2009, the EU has undertaken efforts to create gas storage infrastructure. Slovakia also made a proposal on expanding underground gas storage. That proposal is of interest to us,” he said, Interfax reported.

A standoff between Russia and Ukraine led to a halt of Russian gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine for two weeks in January, and Slovakia was among the hardest hit.

(Reuters, MT)