Europe's Gas Supplies 'Depend on Ukraine' - Russian PM
It is the stable situation in Ukraine that the security of Europe's gas deliveries will depend on, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said on Tuesday.
“If the Ukrainian market is stable and if Ukrainians fulfill all of their obligations, Europe will receive what it is entitled to in full,” Medvedev told Bloomberg TV.
As Moscow's task in the standoff Medvedev pointed out an agreement with Kiev on gas cooperation.
Showing firmness that Ukraine was to yet to transfer USD 3.5 B for its supplies despite its calls that the pricing formula be changed, Medvedev urged Kiev to give a timetable for delivering on its debts to Gazprom, "especially since Ukraine has just received a tranche from the IMF, and both the Americans and Europeans have promised loans."
He added that the construction of South Stream, which is to start in 2015, will make it unnecessary to transport gas for Europe via Ukraine, even though Russia understands "Ukraine itself needs that".
Russia's Prime Minister also stressed the importance of the Nord Stream gas pipeline as a guarantor for the present gas supplies to the continent.
The Nord Stream starts from Vyborg on Russia's Baltic coast and leads gas directly into Germany, going around a number of countries including the Baltics, Ukraine, Belarus and Poland as transit destinations.
Medvedev's words come as the EU announced it was to grant on Tuesday the first EUR 100 M of its EUR 1.6 B of macro-financial aid to Ukraine.
The interview was aired in the eve of President Vladimir Putin's visit to Shanghai for an international forum, but also for the prospective signing of a USD 400 B worth deal for gas supplies to China.
Russia has vowed it would turn east if sanctions or prolonged escalation in Ukraine disrupt the usual gas flow to Europe.
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