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PARIS, July 03 /ITAR-TASS/. The president of French energy company GDF Suez sees no risk to unremitted gas deliveries from Russia to Europe amid developments in Ukraine.
The situation is by no means critical, as it involves differences on gas deliveries only between Russia and Ukraine, Gerard Mestrallet said at parliamentary hearings on Wednesday. Russia itself is “vitally interested” in gas exports to Europe, he said.
“Russia is a very reliable partner for GDF Suez,” the CEO said, reminding parliamentarians that gas supplies were interrupted only once, in 2009 - at the height of a gas dispute with Ukraine. However, France did not feel any gas shortage then, he noted.
Gas deliveries to European consumers were affected because Ukraine apparently started siphoning off transited gas.
The dispute was resolved on January 18, 2009 with a new gas contract that today’s Kiev authorities want revised.
“After the Nord Stream gas pipeline was commissioned in 2011, Europe has become less dependent on transit across the Ukrainian territory,” the GDF Suez head said.
Russia is one of the main gas suppliers for GDF Suez, where the share of Russian gas in total purchase on long-term contracts is 17%.
Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom switched Ukrainian national oil and gas company Naftogaz to prepayment for gas supplies because Ukraine failed to repay part of its gas debt by the deadline of 10:00 Moscow Time on June 16. However, Russia’s supplies to EU consumers transited via Ukraine reportedly continue in line with relevant contracts.