Moscow puts forward conditions for maintaining gas transit via Ukraine
First Deputy Head of the Russian government office Sergei Prikhodko has said Russia is ready to maintain gas transit via Ukraine after 2019 only on economically viable terms and if court disputes between Russia's gas giant Gazprom and the National Joint-Stock Company Naftogaz of Ukraine are settled fairly.
"As for the transit of the Russian natural gas across the territory of Ukraine, we are ready to maintain it based on the economically beneficial conditions and the just settlement of all court disputes between Gazprom and Naftogaz," he told journalists, as reported by the Russian news agency TASS on June 24.
Prikhodko stressed that the concept of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project did not stipulate an end to natural gas transit "along the routes via Ukraine as well as other countries."
"Russia has repeatedly stated its readiness to maintain gas transits via the Ukrainian gas distribution system after 2019 based on the mutually acceptable terms," he said.
"In order to achieve this aim, it is necessary to coordinate relations between companies involved, agree on economic conditions, and to form an atmosphere, which would provide for a civilized dialogue," he added.
When asked by journalists whether the Nord Stream 2 project would be on the agenda of talks between Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his French counterpart Edouard Philippe in Le Havre on Monday, Prikhodko said Moscow "was ready to discuss any issue, including the one regarding the supplies of Russian natural gas to Europe."
UNIAN memo. The Nord Stream 2 project envisages the construction and operation of two gas pipeline branches with a total throughput capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year from the coast of Russia through the Baltic Sea to Germany. It should connect Russia's Ust-Luga and Germany's Greifswald.
This new pipeline bypassing Ukraine is to be built next to the existing Nord Stream 1 pipeline. The construction of the pipeline should be completed before the end of 2019. The length of the pipeline will be 1,220 km.
The project is being implemented by Russia's Gazprom in alliance with European companies – ENGIE, Uniper, OMV, Shell, and Wintershall.
Ukraine stands against the construction of Nord Stream 2 as it will most likely lose its status of a gas transit country and its possible revenue losses are estimated at billions of U.S. dollars. The project is also highly criticized by Poland and the Baltic countries.