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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yanukovych Is Confident of Ukraine's Gas Pipelines Plans

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych on Thursday shrugged off the threat from Russia's South Stream gas project and said he was confident that plans for modernizing Ukraine's gas pipeline system were economically competitive.

Yanukovych, speaking to journalists ahead of a visit to Ukraine next week by President Dmitry Medvedev, said no energy deals will be tied up during the visit and has played down any likely discussion of a surprise proposal by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for a merger between Gazprom and Ukraine's state gas holding, Naftogaz.

Asked about Putin's merger proposal, Yanukovych indicated that only Ukraine's fully equal participation in such a venture could be envisaged. "Fifty-fifty — that would be the only way," he said.

On the table was Ukraine's proposal for Russia and the European Union to take part in modernization of its gas pipelines, he said.