Bulgaria PM: Gas Conflict Would Harm Ukraine Most

Politics | January 15, 2009, Thursday // 00:00

The Bulgarian Prime Minister Sergey Stanishev warned the Ukraine that the gas prices conflict would have more negative effects for them compared to Russia, the Ukrainian information agency UNIAN reported.

"The long-term political damage would be of great consequence for either country. Russia, however, would be able to overcome the political negatives more easily; it would be very difficult for the Ukraine" Stanishev stated.

The PM spoke Wednesday evening during a meeting with his Ukrainian counterpart Yulya Timoshenko.

Stanishev pointed out two issues that must be resolved regarding the gas conflict between Kiev and Moscow - securing the right technology parameters for the gas transfer and offering guarantees that such situation would not be repeated in the future.

On her part Timoshenko stated that European experts have already confirmed that the Ukraine was not illegally diverting Russian gas for the country's own needs and that it was technologically possible to transport it via the Ukraine gas stations and lines.

"We are sending all gas volume abroad. We have taken a constructive approach since day one of the conflict. The Ukraine is a hostage in this situation," the Ukrainian PM said.

When commenting on the proposal of Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for Moscow to host a Saturday meeting of all gas transit countries and all gas consumers, Timoshenko stated that they would participate in such meeting only of it was held in a neutral country.

"The Ukraine is fully prepared to supply all documents in connection with the gas conflict with Russia. In order to resolve this conflict the responsible country must be named," Timoshenko concluded.

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