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The Slovak Republic has received Russian gas since 1967 and has continued to do so since becoming independent as part of the ‘Velvet Divorce’ settlement that separated Czechoslovakia in 1993, as discussed in the preceding chapter. The Brotherhood pipeline enters EU territory at Slovakia’s frontier with Ukraine before splitting into two directions, one via the Czech Republic and into Germany, and the other into Austria towards the markets of Italy and France. A transport capacity of over 100 bcm/y gives the Slovak market strategic value to Gazprom and is a valuable source of transit fees for the government-owned transmission system operator in Bratislava.
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