OREANDA-NEWS. January 12, 2009. Russia is prepared to take part in the privatization of the Ukrainian gas transportation system, Russian PM Vladimir Putin noted. In an interview with German TV channel ARD, which will be broadcast on January 14, Putin pointed out that at a certain point in time Ukraine, Russia and Germany signed a memorandum on establishing an international consortium, presumably with the participation of Italy and France that “will use the Ukrainian gas transportation system on lease terms”. “But we could also participate in the privatization process, should the Ukrainian government be agreeable” – Putin said. However, according to the Russian prime minister, the gas transportation system “is being fetishisized” in Ukraine. “It is regarded as a national heritage the country basically received from heaven and it cannot be privatized” – the prime minister pointed out. “But we could get involved in the privatization process, if Ukraine decides to take this step” – he again emphasized. The prime minister noted that earlier Russia had proposed operating the Ukrainian gas transportation system on long-term lease terms so that the system itself remains on the balance sheet of the Ukrainian government.