Ukraine may use its gas transport system in “reverse mode” to bring European gas to Ukraine, if Russia stops gas transit to Europe through it, Ukraine’s Naftogaz energy firm deputy board chairman Vadim Chuprun said on Monday.
“If [Russia] does not need our gas transportation system in future, we should be ready for its load. The system has enormous opportunities as it can transport gas to Europe and the same volume back,” Chuprun said.
“We may link it up in a common gas transit system between our country and Europe,” he added.
Russia and Ukraine have been embroiled in a drawn-out dispute over the price and volume of Russian gas purchased by Ukraine. Kiev insists the current price is too high, while Moscow is pushing for control of Ukraine’s gas transit system to Europe, as part of a deal to cut prices.
Russia currently exports nearly 80 percent of its gas supplies to Europe through Ukraine, but Russian gas giant Gazprom has repeatedly said Kiev’s importance in gas transit will be minimal after the South Stream pipeline comes on stream in 2015 and the new North Stream’s capacity is increased.