Sunday, January 18, 2009

Slovakia Buys Natural Gas from Czeck

PRAGUE, Czech Republic—After ten days without natural gas from Russia, Slovakia secured an alternative delivery from the Czech Republic on Jan. 17. According to the agreement between Slovakia Prime Minister Robert Fico and his Czech counterpart Mirek Topolanek, Slovakia will receive 20 millions cubic meters of natural gas through their gas line, called Jamal.

The Slovak government also canceled its state of emergency, which only allowed around 1,000 companies to use limited natural gas. They are allowed to resume production on Monday, Jan. 19.

“Due to the Russian natural gas stoppage, Slovakia has lost around 100 million euros (US$ 150 million) daily,” said Fico after the meeting in Prague. The agreement with the Czech Republic came just one day before the meeting between Ukraine and Russia to settle the gas crisis.

Together with other countries in the Balkans, Slovakia is one of the most troubled by the current gas shortage crisis, completely depending on natural gas deliveries from the former Soviet Union. After Ukraine and Russia could not agree on gas prices in 2009, the dispute quickly developed to a total halt of Russian gas to Europe.

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