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Ukraine, Hungary discuss cooperation in energy sector

Kiev, Dec 12, 2006 (BBC Monitoring via COMTEX)

Ukrainian Minister of Fuel and Energy Yuriy Boyko and representatives of the Hungarian government discussed on 11 December in Kiev the issues of cooperation in the energy sector, including the prospects for delivering Ukrainian electricity and natural gas to that country. "A wide range of issues related to cooperation between our country and Hungary in the energy sector was discussed. We think there is a great possibility for cooperation," Boyko told journalists late on Monday [11 December] after the negotiations were over. Boyko pointed to "the full understanding of our Hungarian colleagues regarding the increase of electricity deliveries and expansion of cooperation in trade of natural gas at the border".

"We see that there are a number of projects that the Hungarian businesses are ready to implement in our country; these include construction of hydro-power plants as well as expansion of the current power grids for delivering electricity to Hungary," the minister added. Gyorgy Gilyan, who is in charge of developing economic cooperation with eastern countries in the Hungarian government, said, in turn, "Hungary continues to consider Ukraine a strategic partner in energy cooperation, and we count on increasing the effectiveness of the cooperation." However, Boyko did not give a direct answer when asked which companies would be importing Ukrainian electricity to Hungary in 2007. "Our government's principled position is to ensure the priority of selection of those partners that invest money in our economy. We would be picking partners based on this criterion. We, of course, have a positive experience and long-term contracts with businesses. We will take this into consideration, too," Boyko said. Attending the negotiations were Mykola Pashkevich, president of the state company Ukrinterenergo, the operator of the Ukrainian electricity export; Miklos Merenyi, state secretary for foreign economic issues of the Hungarian Ministry of Economy and Transport; as well as heads of several Hungarian companies.

Source: Interfax-Ukraine news agency, Kiev, in Russian 0852 gmt 12 Dec 06

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