Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak expressed the opinion that the gas pipeline from Crimea to Europe could be built in the future, but the Russian government is not considering this idea now, reports TASS news agency.
"The Energy ministry has not thought about it. But in the future, such projects can be discussed," said Novak at the Russian Energy Week forum.
The Minister added that to date, Russia's actions on the Peninsula were aimed to ensure reliable energy and gas supply to the region, as well as the creation of new power generating capacities.
Russian gas giant Gazprom previously reported, that for the first 2.5 months of 2019, gas supplies oversees fell by 8.2% compared to the same period last year. From January 1 to March 15, the company delivered 40.8 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe, which is 8.2% less than in 2018. At the same time, the company stated that the demand for gas from other European countries has increased. Thus, exports to the Czech Republic grew by 64.9%, to Austria by 24.1%, and to Hungary by 12.6%.
In February 2014, armed people in uniforms without insignias appeared in Crimea and captured the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Simferopol Airport, the Kerch ferry crossing and other strategic objects, and prevented the Ukrainian army from taking action. Initially, the Russian government refused to acknowledge that these armed people were Russian soldiers, but President Vladimir Putin later admitted it.
On 16 March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, in which the inhabitants supposedly voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia. The outcome of the so-called referendum is not recognized by Ukraine, the EU or the US. On 18 March, Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.
International organizations have declared the occupation and annexation illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in connection with the annexation. Russia claims to have “restored historical justice”. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, declared 20 February 2014 the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.