Ukraine allows EU, U.S. investment in gas transit network

KIEV, Aug. 14 (Xinhua) -- The Ukrainian parliament on Thursday passed an energy system reform bill that allows companies from the European Union (EU) and the United States to invest in the country's natural gas transit network.

The bill was supported by 228 lawmakers in the 450-seat assembly, the parliament's press service said.

The document allows the Ukrainian government to create a joint company with Western partners aimed at managing Ukraine's gas transit pipelines and underground storage facilities.

According to the bill, Ukraine would own 51 percent in the joint venture, while investors from the EU and the U.S. would have the rest.

The bill, which is expected to facilitate the upgrading and modernization of Ukraine's gas transit system, needs presidential approval before coming into force.

Ukraine has Europe's second largest gas transportation network. With a capacity to pump 142.5 billion cubic meters of gas a year, it carries 15 percent of the gas consumed by the EU.