MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russian gas supplies through Ukraine will continue as long as relevant contracts are in force, as Moscow does not pursue the goal of suspending the supplies after commissioning the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Russian Foreign Ministry’s Department of Economic Cooperation Director Dmitry Birichevsky said in an interview with Sputnik.
“The contract remains valid, [Russia’s gas giant] Gazprom will later hold negotiations with its partners in Ukraine. We do not seek suspending gas supplies through Ukraine. Russia has never used energy and natural resources as an element of pressure or blackmailing. If economic entities reach an agreement, if there is a need for Russian gas in certain European regions, then gas will be delivered to consumers in a safe ad predictable manner,” Birichevsky said.
The Russian diplomat stressed that the Nord Stream 2 is an exclusively economic project, and also pointed to the existing contractual obligations regulating gas transit through Ukraine.
“The transit through Ukraine will continue as long as relevant contracts are in force,” Birichevsky added.
Ukrainian GTS Operator’s chief, Sergiy Makogon, said earlier in May that the Ukrainian economy would lose $5-6 billion yearly if the Nord Stream 2 was launched. According to Makogon, this includes $1.5 billion Ukraine would lose if Russia suspended the gas transit.
The Russian-led gas project is said to be over 90-percent complete. Nord Stream 2 is a 745-mile twin pipeline that will be carrying gas from Russia directly to Germany under the Baltic Sea, passing as well the territorial waters of Denmark, Finland and Sweden.