Russia May Ship Gas via Ukraine After 2019: Report

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that Moscow was ready to keep gas transit through Ukraine after 2019, despite the construction of Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

Nord Stream 2 pipe yard (photo: Gazprom)

Medvedev, who is on a trip to Europe, said in an interview with Luxemburger Wort newspaper, published late on Monday, that Russia can use Ukraine for gas transit in the future "under certain conditions."

"I underline this particularly: we don't reject transit through existing pipelines... We are ready to maintain gas transit through Ukrainian pipelines after 2019," he was quoted as saying.

"Of course, under certain conditions ... They are a settlement between interested companies, favourable economic and commercial parameters of the deal as well as a stable political situation," Medvedev said.

Russia’s planned doubling of capacity on the Nord Stream pipeline across the Baltic Sea to Germany could help Moscow bypass exports via Ukraine. That would deny Kiev transit fees.

Russia's Gazprom also is looking to bypass the Ukraine with gas delivered across the Black Sea by its TurkStream pipeline, which is due to begin operations later this year.  One potential path for delivery of TurkStream gas to Western Europe is via a proposed link through Bulgaria.

On Monday, Medvedev told his Bulgarian counterpart Boiko Borissov that Russia needs guarantees from the European Commission prior to choosing Bulgaria as a route for the TurkStream project.

Medvedev also said that Russia was ready to take part in construction of Belene nuclear plant in Bulgaria.

Russia is involved in a conflict with Kiev over the annexation of Crimea and breakaway regions in Ukraine’s east.

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