Ukraine wants Germany to take part in modernization of its gas transportation system, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych said on Monday, according to RIA Novosti.
"We view Germany as a partner in the future reconstruction of the Ukrainian gas transportation system, and I have put forward this proposal today," Yanukovych said during an official visit to Germany.
"Ukraine wants to be and will be a reliable partner both for Russia, the owner of gas, and for European consumers," he said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Yanukovych`s proposal would be discussed during a German-Ukrainian energy forum which will take place in Ukraine in the autumn. The forum was "very important for energy policies," Merkel said.
There is still room for cooperation between Ukraine, Russia and the European Union in modernizing Ukraine`s pipelines, she added.
Ukraine has previously discussed the issue of modernizing its Soviet-era gas transit system with Russia`s Gazprom, but the sides have not yet come to an agreement. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said the Russian energy giant may fund the modernization if Ukraine`s gas company Naftogaz merges with Gazprom.
Ukraine`s gas pipeline system, which stretches over 37,500 kilometers (23,306 miles), includes 71 booster stations and 13 underground gas storage units of 32 billion cubic meters capacity.
The system pumps 141 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe annually. Russia`s gas exports, which accounted for 167 billion cubic meters in 2008, are forecast to reach 217 billion cubic meters in 2010.
Ukraine has also welcomed U.S. investment in its energy sector, including modernization of its gas transportation system.