MINSK, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – Kiev is convinced that the reliability of Russian gas supplies to Europe via the territory of Ukraine depends solely on the Russian energy giant Gazprom, the country’s energy minister told reporters Tuesday.
“At the moment, Gazprom is the only one who is responsible for the gas transit. Who signed contracts with European companies? Gazprom did. The Ukrainian gas transit operator has no contract with Europeans at present,” Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said on the sidelines of the Customs Union-Ukraine-EU talks currently under way in Minsk.
“At present, only Gazprom can guarantee [uninterrupted] gas supplies [to Europe],” the Ukrainian official added.
Earlier in the month, the Ukrainian parliament passed a law that allows Kiev to impose more than 20 different types of sanctions against Russia, including the one, which entails a possible ban on the transit of Russian energy resources through its territory.
Ukraine is a transit country for Russian gas. Around half of the Russian gas imported in 2013 crossed Ukraine, which amounts to approximately 15 percent of European consumption, according to the International Energy Agency.