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    Ukrainian worker operates a valve at a gas storage point in Bil 'che-Volicko-Ugerske underground gas storage facilities in Strij, outside Lviv, Ukraine

    Putin: Moscow, Kiev to Resume Gas Cooperation When Ukraine Loses Monopoly

    © AP Photo / Sergei Chuzavkov
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    Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia and Ukraine will resume their normal gas cooperation after Kiev realizes that it has no monopoly on gas transit to Europe.

    ST. PETERSBURG (Sputnik) — Russia and Ukraine will resume their normal gas cooperation after Kiev realizes that it has no monopoly on gas transit to Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

    "… if Ukraine realizes that it does not have monopoly on gas transit, the blackmail by some officials in that country over these deliveries will stop and we will return to a normal business cooperation," Putin said at a meeting with heads of international news agencies on Friday.

    According to Putin, Russia is not refusing to transport gas through Ukraine completely, though the main issue is the volume of gas and its distribution.

    In November 2015, Ukraine halted purchases of Russian gas, saying the pricing offered by its European partners was much lower than that offered by Moscow.

    At the start of 2016, Ukraine filed an official complaint to the European Commission regarding the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline project that could provide up to 55 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas a year to the European Union across the Baltic Sea to Germany, bypassing Ukraine and thus diminishing the dependence on Ukraine as a key gas transit route.

    Earlier in June, Ukraine’s national oil and gas company Naftogaz offered Russian energy giant Gazprom to sign additions to a gas supplies contract, adding that Gazprom may become a supplier for Ukraine once its prices are lower than those offered by European suppliers.

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    gas transit, European Union, Vladimir Putin, Ukraine, Russia
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