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EU, Ukrainian, Russian officials mull gas transit via Ukraine

Staff Writer |
European Commission’s Vice President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic has met with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko to discuss transit of Russian natural gas to the E.U. via Ukraine, Sefcovic told PRIME.

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“Together with Mister Poroshenko and Mister Novak we discussed, as I would say, the main issues of the energy sphere that have been on our agenda for some time.

“Of course, it is transit of gas through Ukraine and its future after 2019,” he said, adding that the European Commission is ready to act as a mediator between Moscow and Kiev if they start negotiations on transit.

“I have tested the waters, I discussed whether there is a chance to restore discussions about the future of Ukrainian gas transit after the decision of the Stockholm Arbitration Court.

“We as the European Commission and the European Union would be very satisfied, and we are ready to organize negotiations at an expert level or even at a political level so that we may find a long-term solution of the issue,” he said.

“We are ready to play a coordinating role, we will be happy if we are able to find ways to discuss continuation of gas transit through Ukraine after we have received the Stockholm decision.”

So far, the European Commission sees no risks for transit. “In spite of unexpected changes of weather, we are still able to cover Europe’s demand for gas,” he said.

In April 2017, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that Gazprom may continue gas transit through Ukraine after 2019, the year when the current transit contract expires, in the amount of 15 billion cubic meters per year.

President Vladimir Putin said in February 2017 that Moscow may keep transit after 2019 if it is economically viable.

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