Politician slams Kiev for seeking to swap control over national gas transit for US backing

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KIEV, February 19. /TASS/. The politicians who are currently in power in Ukraine are trying to exchange the national gas transmission system for US backing in the upcoming presidential elections, Chairman of the political council of Ukraine’s Opposition Platform – For Life Viktor Medvedchuk said in a statement published on the party’s website.

He pointed out that Ukrainian Prime Minister Vladimir Groysman said earlier that Kiev was interested in “finding a serious and influential partner from the EU, or the US to jointly manage the gas transmission system.” “Moreover, lately the top managers of the Ukrainian oil and gas companies have been deliberating over the news that the US Secretary of Energy is selecting a team to be appointed to key positions in Naftogaz, the national oil and gas company of Ukraine. This team will, in reality, dissolve Naftogaz and its subsidiaries, such as UkrGasVydobuvannya, and privatize their assets,” Medvedchuk noted.

Therefore, according to the politician, the Ukrainian national gas transmission system would be transferred over to a joint US-Ukrainian company, while all of Naftogaz’s gas deposit licenses will be sold to private investors.

“There’s every reason to believe that [Ukrainian President Pytor] Poroshenko and [Prime Minister Vladimir] Groysman actively support this US initiative which can be regarded as an attempt by the current authorities to exchange Naftogaz’s assets and the national gas transmission system for Washington’s support in the elections. The only viable mechanism to save the Ukrainian gas transmission system, its function for the sake of the Ukrainian people and the transit of the Russian gas to Europe is through a trilateral consortium of Ukraine, Russia and the EU,” Medvedchuk stressed.

Naftogaz currently enjoys a monopoly over gas transit and gas underground storage, as well as energy transmission via pipelines.

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