Agreement signed on Ukrainian gas pipeline upgrade

The Ukrainian government, the European Commission, the EBRD, and the European Investment Bank have signed a declaration to upgrade Ukraine's pipelines.

They met at an international conference in Brussels on Monday. Earlier, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko said the EU should spend money on modernizing Ukrainian pipelines, and not search for alternative routes to by-pass the country, adding that this requires 5 and half billion dollars is needed.

36 countries are taking part in the conference, with Russia represented by Energy Minister Sergey Shmatko. However, the country will not be part of Ukraine's modernization efforts, according to Gazprom deputy CEO Valery Golubov…

“Russia is not participating and it's strange because Ukraine's pipeline system was created during Soviet Times as a common system with the Russian one. It is impossible to change the operation of the Ukranian system without taking in consideration the Russian gas pipeline system.”