23:44 GMT14 July 2020
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    Under no circumstances will Russia’s gas giant Gazprom extend its existing gas transit deal with Ukraine after 2019 or sign a new one, and the Turkish Stream pipeline is the only option for delivering gas to Turkey, according to the Deputy Chairman of Gazprom's Management Committee Alexander Medvedev.

    Gazprom is adamant about stopping gas transit through Ukraine after 2019.

    “After the expiry of the gas transit contract with Ukraine, under no circumstances will there be either the extension of the existing deal or the signing of a new one. Thus the simplest way to deliver gas to Turkey is the Turkish Stream,” Medvedev told journalists on Tuesday.

    Earlier Russia’s Minister of Energy Alexander Novak and Gazprom's CEO repeatedly said that Russia is not planning gas transit through Ukraine.

    A third of Russian gas delivered to Europe goes through Ukraine. However, Moscow has repeatedly expressed concerns over the reliability of safe gas transit via Ukraine. Gazprom switched Ukraine to a gas prepayment scheme in June due to Kiev’s failure to pay its gas bills.

    The Turkish Stream is a substitute for the South Stream pipeline project, which Moscow cancelled in December 2014, citing the "unconstructive" stance of the European Union.

    On December 1, 2014, Gazprom and the Turkish pipeline company Botas signed a memorandum of understanding on the construction of a Black Sea gas pipeline to Turkey with an annual capacity of 63 billion cubic meters. The 1,100-kilometer (680-mile) pipeline will carry up to 47 billion cubic meters of gas to the Turkish-Greek border.

    In January, Gazprom announced that an intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Turkey on the construction of the new pipeline is expected to be signed in the second quarter of 2015 and that the first deliveries are to start in December 2016.

    Around 14 billion cubic meters of gas will be supplied Turkey, and the rest pumped to a hub on the Turkish-Greek border for customers in Europe.


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