Russia-Ukrainian gas disputes not to tell on gas supplies to Europe – minister

MOSCOW, August 19 (Itar-Tass) —— The situation around Russian-Ukrainian gas contracts will not tell on Russia’s gas supplies to Europe, Russian Minister of Energy Sergei Shmatko said on Friday.

“It has always been Russia’s principled position that its ties with Ukraine in the area of gas supplies are not to impact the gas flow,” he said in an interview with the Arabic version of Russia Today TV channel. “We have long-term transit contracts with Ukraine. We are sure these contracts will be fulfilled by the Ukrainian side as well.”

“I believe the current contacts between the European Union, Ukraine and Russia make it possible to exclude any recurrences of scenarios of Russian gas cuts to Europe,” he stressed.

Commenting on the situation around the 2009 Russian-Ukrainian gas contract, the Russian minister said he had no doubts the contract was legitimate. “We have always proceeded and are still proceeding from the fact the contracts and agreements were signed in strict compliance with international law and in line with our intergovernmental agreements,” Shmatko said. “That is why we have never had any doubts regarding their legitimacy.”

He also expressed the hope that “Russia and Ukraine will be able to find mutually acceptable ways to expand strategic cooperation in the gas sector.”


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