ST. PETERSBURG, April 12. /TASS/. Russia has confirmed to the European Union its readiness to partially use the Ukrainian gas transportation system after 2019, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak told reporters.
"Yesterday we had a conversation with Vice-President of the European Commission and discussed gas supplies by European consumers in the context of the contracts that are in force until the end of 2019," he said.
"We have confirmed that we guarantee provision of supplies under the existing contracts to European consumers and that we do not rule out partial use of the Ukrainian gas transportation infrastructure after 2019," Novak said.
According to him, for this purpose, Russian and Ukrainian companies should work out commercial conditions, as well as volumes of gas that will be supplied through the Ukrainian gas transportation system.
The issue remains one of the most important ones in bilateral relations between Russia and the EU because of the significant role played by Russian gas in the European energy balance. Novak confirmed again Russia’s commitment to smooth deliveries of natural gas, via Ukraine in particular.
"In particular, readiness of Russia to consider the possibility of engaging the Ukraine’s gas transport system after 2020 was noted subject to feasible and competitive conditions of its use. In view of continuing consultations between Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine in the context of decisions of the Stockholm Arbitration, the Russian Minister of Energy and the Vice President of the European Commission agreed to hold a bilateral meeting, with its date to be agreed further," the ministry said.
Gazprom can keep gas transit over Ukraine totaling 10-15 bln cubic meters per year if Ukraine proves that a new contract is feasible, Chief Executive Officer of the Russian gas holding Alexei Miller told reporters earlier this week.