Such an agreement in the presence of Prime Minister MykolaAzarov and Energy Minister Yuriy Boiko was formally signed head ofthe State Agency for Investment and National Projects VladyslavKaskiv on Monday, writes the Financial Times.
"Signing on behalfof Fenosa was a Spanish-speaking man that Kaskiv and hissubordinates identified as Jordi Sarda Bonvehi (left in thepicture)," the newspaper writes.
Officials at GasNatural Fenosa claim they don't know Sarda Bonvehi. They say hedoes not represent their company or its subsidiaries. And, thecompany has not signed any agreement withUkraine.
"Gas NaturalFenosa has not signed any contract to invest in a LNG plant projectin Ukraine, nor is it leading any consortium whatsoever for thedevelopment of the aforementioned terminal. Gas Natural Fenosa hasnothing under study in this regard, nor does it haverepresentatives working in Ukraine on this issue. We categoricallydeny the news reports which have been circulating throughout theday in various media," says the official companystatement.
Ukrainianofficials claim to still believe that an agreement was reached withGas Natural Fenosa. Speaking with the press, Kaskiv said it was theunderstanding of his state investment agency that Sarda Bonvehirepresents the interests of Gas Natural Fenosa.
He and otherUkrainian officials claim to have held negotiations with GasNatural Fenosa, with Sarda Bonvehi playing the role of a negotiatorof sorts. Officials at Gas Natural Fenosa steadfastly denythis.
The journaliststried to talk to Sarda Bonvehi at the signing, but he declined tocomment.
Describing theturn of events as "disappointing," a spokesperson for Ukraine'sprime minster stressed that the country would pursue constructionof the strategic LNG terminal - with or without Gas Natural Fenosa,or other investors.
However, onWednesday Kaskiv said that the reason for appearance of informationthat the Spanish company Gas Natural Fenosa objects regarding itsparticipation in LNG-terminal project is a technicaldiscrepancy.
"I still hope thatthe cause of the information published by the media was technicaldiscrepancies. Now we are holding corresponding consulting," Kaskivsaid, quotes LigaBusinessInform.
"But if the GasNatural Fenosa really decided not to participate in the project, wewill treat the decision with respect because we know that it couldhave been made under understandable pressure," hesaid.
In particular,Kaskiv said Gosinvestproekt (State Investment Project) possesses asigned agreement.
"The informationposted on the Internet that the company Gas Natural Fenosa" doesnot know anything about this project is false because the GasNatural Fenosa Engineering (Socoin) division has been developingthe project," he said.