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Ukraine prolongs gas import deal with Slovakia

The logo of pipeline operator Eustream is seen on a window in the eastern Slovak town of Velke Kapusany

KYIV (Reuters) - Ukraine's state-run gas transit operator GTSO and Slovak operator Eustream have agreed to extend until March 31 a daily 42 million cubic meters (mcm) gas import route for Ukraine, GTSO said on Tuesday.

Ukraine has not imported natural gas directly from Russia since 2015. It buys its natural gas from European countries such as Slovakia.

"Such a step is positive both for Ukrainian customers, in particular because of the opportunities for importing gas to Ukraine, and for non-residents - for storing gas in Ukrainian underground storages," GTSO said in a statement.

In line with the previous agreement, reached in February, Eustream had temporarily increased gas export capacity to Ukraine through the interconnection at Budince to 42 mcm.

Ukraine has said it has accumulated around 14 billion cubic meters of gas in storage for the winter heating season, but that it will need additional imports after Russian attacks on Ukrainian energy sector.

(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, Editing by Timothy Heritage)