MINSK, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – The European Union is not concerned by the possibility of Kiev halting Russian gas transit via Ukraine, the vice-president of the European Commission responsible for energy, Gunther Oettinger, said in Minsk Tuesday.
There is no actual concern,” he said on the sidelines of the Customs Union-Ukraine-EU meeting in the Belarusian capital.
Last month, the Ukrainian parliament passed a bill allowing to impose restrictive measures on Russia, including the possibility of halting transit of Russian oil and gas via the territory of Ukraine.
The Ukrainian authorities assure they are not planning to halt the gas transit to Europe. In particular, earlier in the day, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said on the sidelines of the Customs Union-Ukraine-EU talks in Minsk that the reliability of Russian gas supplies to Europe via the territory of Ukraine depends solely on the Russian energy giant Gazprom.
He elaborated by saying that it was Gazprom that had signed contracts with European companies, not the Ukrainian gas transit operator.
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.