Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said he hopes Russia gives up its South Stream project.
Russia plans to launch the $21.5 billion South Stream pipeline, which will transport up to 63 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe under the Black Sea, in 2015 to diversify its gas supplies.
Russia annually pumps about 100 billion cu m of gas to European countries via Ukraine, which makes up 80 percent of its gas supplies to Europe. A Russia-Ukraine gas dispute in early 2009 left many EU consumers without Russian gas for nearly a month.
“We are convincing Russia and the EU leaders that there is nothing more reliable than our gas transportation system capable of taking in over 200 billion cu m of gas a year and fully covering Europe’s needs after reconstruction,” Azarov said on Ukraine’s Channel One.
He said he agreed with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin to meet at least once a month to discuss energy issues.
“I hope when our cooperation [with Russia] becomes full-sized, it will be easier for us to convince the Russian leadership to give up South Stream,” the Ukrainian premier said.
Earlier this week, Azarov and Putin met in Moscow but Ukraine failed to persuade Russia to lower its gas price. Ukraine, which is 100 percent dependent on Russian energy supplies, is seeking to revise a 2009 gas supply contract signed by former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.
KIEV, June 11 (RIA Novosti)