REUTERS Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Ukraine would remain without gas supplies if the country fails to extend the agreement on the transit of Russian gas. Speaking at a Saturday press conference following a visit to Beijing, Putin wondered whether a transit agreement would be signed for the transportation of Russian gas after the election of a new president of Ukraine, an UNIAN correspondent reports. Putin stressed that, if there is no gas transit, there will be no reverse supply. "After all, the reverse [supply] is virtual. There&#39;s our gas flowing to Western Europe… Since Soviet times, how has the gas pipe been set up? There are threads going across Ukraine from that transit gas pipeline. This is something all professionals are aware of," Putin said. Read alsoPutin says talks with Zelensky possible on ending Donbas war "Imagine there is no transit: then, there would be no gas supply to Ukraine. This is such a serious matter, but they keep fooling around, engaging in political squabbles, instead of thinking about ordinary Ukrainians trying to get by and paying a high price for these political tricks," the Russian leader claimed. At the same time, Putin said that Ukraine receives gas at a price "twice as high" as it could have been. He added that representatives of the Ukrainian opposition Viktor Medvedchuk and Yuriy Boyko had been told that, after switching to direct supplies, the price of Russian gas for Kyiv would be only 25% lower. It should be recalled that the existing gas transit contract expires on December 31. As UNIAN reported earlier, Ukraine-EU-Russia tripartite talks on gas transit issues after 2019 were held in Brussels on January 21. Following the negotiations, Vice-President of the European Commission, Maroš Šefčović, announced that the next round of the talks was scheduled for May 2019. On January 15, preliminary technical tripartite consultations with the participation of Ukraine, Russia, and the European Commission were set to be held while representatives of the Russian monopoly Gazprom disrupted the meeting.