Kremlin: Russia is ready to continue gas transit through Ukraine on its own terms

Russia is ready to continue the transit of gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine, stated the Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia, Alexander Pankin in an interview with RIA Novosti. “We are ready to continue Ukrainian transit, but under the conditions we need,” explained Pankin. At the same time, according to him, there is "a whole range of elements that Ukrainians cannot go for yet", as well as "the uncertainty of Ukraine itself regarding its gas-transport system, its successor, consortium, and so on."

The official did not rule out that the current contract for the transit supplies could be continued "with the introduction of some necessary changes," but noted that, "it looks like Ukraine rejects this option." Pankin suggested that by the next round of transit negotiation talks in May, “changes in position”, “certain institutional development, and legal development of processes” could occur in Ukraine.

Speaking about the Nord Stream 2 project, Pankin said that if they “will create obstacles” to “force Russia to pump gas through Ukraine on their terms, with their tariffs, with uncertainty in legal matters, this number probably not will pass.” He also pointed out possible difficulties for European consumers in the event that the Russian Federation and Ukraine cannot agree on the transit of gas and "the problems with the Nord Stream – 2 continue".

The pipeline, which is criticized by a number of European countries, should be installed across the Baltic Sea parallel to the already existing Nord Stream. This work is planned to be completed in 2019. The agreements between Moscow and Kiyv on the transit of gas through Ukraine expires the same year.

The European Union supported a compromise decision on the project and made amendments to the Third Energy Package of the EU. According to them, the EU Member State, on whose territory the sea gas pipeline for the first time connects to European power grids, is responsible for the gas pipeline coming from a third country. Thus, Berlin, not Brussels will regulate the "Nord Stream - 2"

  Ukraine, Russia, Nord Stream - 2, Europe, Brussels, Kremlin

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