PRAGUE, December 2. /TASS/. The Czech Republic is interested in keeping the existing and developing new transit routes for Russian natural gas, Czech Industry and Trade Minister Jan Mladek said on Wednesday.
"It is in the Czech interests to have two operational routes of gas deliveries from Russia," he said. "There should be long-term guarantees for minimal gas deliveries in transit across Ukraine so that this route continues functioning," the minister said.
Russia’s Nord Stream-2 project envisaging the construction of the gas pipeline’s third and fourth stretches along the Baltic Sea bed to Germany has its advantages and disadvantages, he added.
Once the project is implemented, Europe will get new transit routes of gas delivery but the countries that are currently gas transit states will lose a considerable part of revenues for transit, Mladek said.
A demand initiated by Slovakia and supported by several Central and Eastern European states that the European Commission should block the Nord Stream-2 project is "too tough," the Czech minister said.
"We discussed this issue with the Slovakian [Economy] Ministry but came to no agreement," Mladek said.
In his opinion, the European Union prioritizes the TANAP project of the Azerbaijani-Turkish energy transport system to pump Caspian natural gas to the EU.
"The most promising project is the TANAP gas pipeline, which is at the stage of construction. In future, we could buy not only oil but also gas from Azerbaijan," the minister said.