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Ukraine may scrap gas transit system after Nord Stream launch

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Ukraine wants assurances from Russia and the European Union that they still need the country’s gas transit system to pump Russian gas to Europe, otherwise it may be scrapped, a spokesman for Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said on Wednesday.

Ukraine wants assurances from Russia and the European Union that they still need the country’s gas transit system to pump Russian gas to Europe, otherwise it may be scrapped, a spokesman for Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said on Wednesday.

Nord Stream, which bypasses Ukraine, was launched earlier this month. Russia began the project after a number of disputes over gas prices with Ukraine. Such rows have left parts of Europe without Russian gas supplies on two occasions since 2006

"As far as Russia is constructing pipelines bypassing Ukraine, Ukraine needs to get a clear answer as to whether Russia expects to continue using the Ukrainian gas transit system," Azarov’s spokesman said,

"If Russia is not going to use it, its maintenance is not profitable for Ukraine and it has to be demounted or to be used elsewhere," he said.

"If Ukraine stops the operation of its gas transit system, this is a very high risk factor for Europe, so Ukraine wants to hear from Europe what the plans for the Ukrainian gas transit route are" he added.

Nord Steam will link Russia and the European Union via the Baltic Sea.

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