Ukraine proposes new gas transit pipeline: Yanukovych

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Ukraine is proposing the construction of a new gas pipeline across its territory to deliver Russian gas to Europe, its president said on Friday.

President Viktor Yanukovych said after talks with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that Kiev had proposed that the pipeline be built as a three-way venture with Russia and the European Union.

"On the gas pipeline system -- we have our own conception that we proposed to our colleagues in the EU and Russia," he said.

"It envisages the creation of a joint company with the participation of EU states, Russia and Ukraine... (for) the construction on Ukrainian territory of a pipeline which would ensure additional possibilities for deliveries," he added.

A quarter of the gas consumed in the European Union comes from Russia, 80 percent of which passes through Ukraine.

Several EU states were left without Russian gas in early 2009 due to a gas dispute between Kiev and Moscow and Europe has also been worried by the technical condition of Ukraine's creaking gas transit system.

Since coming to power earlier this year, Yanukovych has moved to improve ties with Russia but is also targeting Ukraine's integration into the European Union.

© 2010 AFP

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