In a press conference after meeting with Serbian President Aleksander Vučić, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke about the risk of transiting Russian gas to Europe through Ukraine.
According to Putin, the Russian delegation to the trilateral gas meeting in Brussels will bring up this issue.
“The management of Gazprom will be in Brussels next week, and will discuss a number of collaboration matters. Incidentally, [they will also discuss] transit through Ukraine, taking into account the growing supply volume of our natural gas to Europe. Last year it was a record – more than 200 billion cubic meters – and it continues to grow,” Putin said.
“We will load not only both Nord Streams, not only the Turkish [Stream], but with this supply volume to European consumers, the possibility remains of transit through Ukraine,” the Russian President added.
Earlier, Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev said that Russia does not intend to guarantee that it will transit gas through the Ukrainian gas transport system after 2019.
In a joint press-conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in May last year, Putin said that Russia does not plan to stop the gas transit through Ukraine after the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline becomes operational. At the time, he also said that the transit will be continued, provided it is “economically justified for participants in the economic activity”.
He later made similar statements after meeting with US President Donald Trump, promising to extend the gas transit contract.