MOSCOW, December 16 (Sputnik) — The announcement of CEO of Ukraine’s Naftogaz that the company is unlikely to purchase gas from Russian energy giant Gazprom until the end of the winter suggests that Kiev is facing a number of gas issues, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said.
"This reflects the risks that exist for the transit passage through the territory of Ukraine. As of today, there are problems with gas in underground gas storage facilities. They have pumped less gas than in their entire history, began the selection of gas earlier than the usual autumn-winter season. And most importantly — we know how much gas Ukraine needs if there is a period of extreme cold, severe frosts. And when the frosts hit, Ukraine never goes without Russian gas," Miller stressed on Friday.
On Thursday, Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev said that his company will "most likely" not buy gas from Gazprom until the end of the winter unless Gazprom expressed readiness to accept standard contract terms.
Kiev stopped buying gas from Russia in November 2015, however, Ukraine continues buying transit gas from the European Union.
Ukraine is a key country for the transit of Russian gas to Europe.
Miller stressed on Friday that the demand for Russian gas is growing on the European market.
"This [higher demand] is an additional stress to Ukraine’s gas transport system," Miller said adding that statements, such as the one made by Kobolyev on Thursday "signify that the risks are significant for the transit of our gas for the European consumers."