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Slovakia Signs Deal To Send Gas To Ukraine

Pipelines are seen at a gas border-delivery station of pipeline operator Eustream in the eastern Slovak town of Velke Kapusany, near the border with Ukraine.
Slovakia and Ukraine have signed a deal that allows the European Union to send a limited amount of gas to Ukraine.

Ukraine has been trying to secure alternative supplies to those from Russia's Gazprom since Russia annexed Crimea last month and Gazprom raised prices for its gas.

Under the deal, reached during talks in Kyiv on April 26, Slovakia will make technical adjustments to a currently unused pipeline to ship around 8 billion cubic meters of gas starting in the fall.

Ukraine -- which consumes around 55 billion cubic meters of gas annually -- has been pushing for another technical solution allowing larger volumes, but Slovakia has resisted because it fears doing so would violate its contracts with Gazprom.

Ukraine has already struck similar deals with Hungary and Poland in a bid to reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP