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Russian energy minister urges to speed up Nord Stream-2, Turkish Stream projects

The minister reiterated that Gazprom will remain a reliable energy partner for Europe despite current difficulties

MOSCOW, March 7. /TASS/. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak called for speeding up the implementation of the Nord Stream-2 and Turkish Stream gas pipeline projects to remove transit risks for Russian gas deliveries.

In a Rossiya-24 TV channel broadcast, the minister said that the recent ruling by the Stockholm arbitration in Gazprom’s gas dispute with Ukraine’s Naftogaz "confirms the need to implement as soon as possible projects aimed at developing alternative gas routes, including the Turkish Stream and the Nord Stream-2 projects in order to reduce transit risks and ensure competitiveness in gas deliveries and costs for final consumers."

"In my view, the implementation of [the projects] needs to be accelerated in order to reduce the risks that exist today," Novak said.

According to earlier reports, Gazprom has officially notified Naftogaz about launching the procedure of terminating gas delivery and transit contracts with Ukraine in the Stockholm arbitration.

The minister reiterated that Gazprom will remain a reliable energy partner for Europe despite current difficulties.

"This will not lead to disruption of gas deliveries to European consumers. On the contrary, our current supplies of gas to Europe are record high amid current temperatures, and Gazprom has once again proven itself as a reliable supplier," the minister added.

The Stockholm arbitration on Wednesday ordered Gazprom to pay $2.56 bln on a transit contract with Naftogaz of Ukraine. Gazprom has already expressed its disagreement with the court's decision and announced its intention to protect its rights in accordance with applicable law.

He told reporters that the Stockholm arbitration, guided by double standards, had adopted an asymmetric decision on the contracts with Naftogaz of Ukraine regarding supply and transit of gas. The decision seriously violates the balance of interests of the parties under these contracts, according to Miller.

Prior to that, Deputy Chairman of Gazprom Management Committee Alexander Medvedev told reporters that Gazprom received payment for March gas supplies from Naftogaz of Ukraine, but returned it due to inconsistency of the additional agreement to the contract, so the deliveries will not begin.

Naftogaz CEO Andrei Kobolev described the move as Gazprom’s refusal to implement the court’s decisions. He also said Ukraine will face a gas deficit due to lack of supplies from Russia and called upon reducing gas consumption in the country starting from March 6.

On February 28, 2018, the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce imposed a $4.63-billion penalty on Gazprom over its gas transit dispute with Ukraine’s national oil and gas company Naftogaz. Taking into account the satisfied counter claims, Gazprom has to pay $ 2.56 bln.