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Slovak gas pipeline to Ukraine to start tests on Aug 15


PRAGUE (Reuters) - Slovak gas pipeline operator Eustream will begin testing a pipeline on Aug. 15 that is expected to begin carrying gas from the European Union to Ukraine starting in September, the company said on Thursday.

Eustream said interruptible capacity will be offered during the testing period on the Vojany-Uzhorod pipeline that can supply up to 10 billion cubic meters annually to Ukraine. This represents nearly 20 percent of Ukraine's yearly demand.

Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine on June 16 citing unpaid bills in the third such standoff in a decade. EU member Slovakia and Ukraine signed a deal in April allowing the EU to send a limited amount of gas to Ukraine through an unused pipeline now being upgraded.

(Reporting by Michael Kahn, Editing by Jason Hovet)