11:16 GMT30 November 2020
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    Russian plans to replace gas deliveries via Ukraine with alternative transit routes threatens European energy security, Vice President of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic said Wednesday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — Sefcovic said that the EU gas transportation system, especially in Central Europe, had been designed to be fully compatible with gas deliveries via Ukraine.

    "If the aim is to gradually dry up the Ukrainian transit route, it is something which is not acceptable for the European Union because it would really change the gas balance in Europe, it would put in a very difficult situation countries in Central and South-East Europe" Sefcovic said.

    In early July, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko also expressed confidence that the agreement between Russia and Ukraine on gas transit to Europe would be extended beyond 2019 as he believed that there was no alternative to the Ukrainian route.

    In late June, the head of Russian energy giant Gazprom, Alexey Miller, warned that the company did not intend to renew its transit contract with Ukraine after it would expire in 2019 if Ukraine offered unfavorable terms for the company.

    "When you look at the construction and the proposals of this stream [through Turkey], there is one goal — how to make the Ukrainian transit route less relevant, or how to cut off supplies through Ukraine completely. Of course, this would have very negative consequences for energy security in Europe, because the Ukrainian transit route is very important, it is the biggest one, it's 140 billion cubic meters per year," Sefcovic told reporters.

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    Tags:
    European Union, gas, European Commission, Russia, Ukraine
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