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Gas transit to Europe to be ensured if Ukraine fulfills its commitments — Medvedev

May 20, 2014, 9:23 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The Russian prime minister said Moscow was ready to discuss the gas price with Ukraine, but that Ukraine had to pay a sizable part of its gas debt
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Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev

© ITAR-TASS/Alexander Astafyev

MOSCOW, May 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Reliability of gas transit supplies from Russia to Europe depends from Ukraine, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said in an interview with TV channel Bloomberg.

“If Ukrainian market is in a stable state and if Ukrainians fulfill all their commitments Europeans will receive everything what they should have,” he noted.

“But we cannot neglect the fact that there is Ukraine between the European Union and Russia,” Medvedev admitted.

Dmitry Medvedev said Moscow was ready to discuss the gas price with Ukraine, but that Ukraine had to pay a sizable part of its gas debt, in order to show that its intentions are serious.

"They (Kiev authorities) should present to us a debt-payment schedule and pay a reasonable amount, i.e. discharge part of the debt," Medvedev said in an interview with Bloomberg television. "Of course, it should be a sizable portion, which will show absolutely clearly that they will be paying their debts."

After that Russia and Ukraine can sit down at the negotiating table and discuss how their gas cooperation will develop, Medvedev added.

Russia will fulfill all its commitments on gas supplies in Europe, but reliability of gas transit depends from Europe, Dmitry Medvedev said.

“If Ukrainian market is in a stable state and if Ukrainians fulfill all their commitments Europeans will receive everything they should have,” he noted, adding that “But we cannot neglect the fact that there is Ukraine between the European Union and Russia.”

In this regard, he named “calming down the situation over Ukraine” as the main task.

“Our task is to agree on gas co-operation with Ukraine and after this everything will be good,” the prime minister said with confidence.

He also recalled “One of guarantees that everything will be all right for Europeans is Nord Stream [the gas project].” “If we can put into operation South Stream [the gas project] in a few years, putting it straightforwardly, we will not need gas transit via Ukraine any longer, though we understand that this is needed for Ukraine,” Medvedev said.

“If we do this, Europeans will receive guaranteed supplies at any time regardless who rules in Kiev,” the prime minister said. “And who ever ruled in Kiev and I am absolutely unconfident that we will be able to predict with a sufficient degree of probability who will be in power in Ukraine even in half a year,” he added.

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