Author`s name Oleg Artyukov

Russia has no intention to cut natural gas transit via Ukraine

Russia welcomes the intention of the United States not to impose sanctions against Nord Stream 2. In addition, Russia still intends to continue to supply natural gas to European states via Ukraine, Putin's official spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Why Russia has no intention to cut gas transit to EU through Ukraine

"President Putin is aware of those statements from Washington, and the Russian side welcomes them," Peskov said, answering a question from journalists about Putin's reaction to reports about the decision of the United States not to impose sanctions against Nord Stream 2.

Peskov also reminded of the agreement between Russia and Ukraine on gas supplies to Europe. Dmitry Peskov stressed that the agreement would remain in force for the entire period of its validity.

The agreement was concluded in late 2019 for five years. In accordance with it, Gazprom undertakes to supply 65 billion cubic meters of natural gas via Ukraine in 2020 and 40 billion — annually from 2021 to 2024. Should Gazprom supply smaller volumes of gas during the contract, the Russian company will still have to pay Naftogaz of Ukraine as in the case of full supplies.

Peskov also said that even after the completion of the current agreement, Russia does not intend to end transit through the territory of Ukraine.

The Russian president believes that the volumes of gas supplied to Europe will increase in the future, and there may be demand for Ukrainian transit."

"At the same time, Putin notes every time that this is an exclusively economic and commercial issue that should meet the requirements of the market. As for Ukraine, being the owner of the gas transportation system, it must ensure the normal technical condition of the system," Peskov said.

However, the United States has recently imposed restrictive measures on vessels and companies involved in the construction of Nord Stream 2, and it does not look like the USA has decided not to impose sanctions on the project.

Presumably, it goes about sanctions against the operator of Nord Stream 2. Indeed, the Biden administration did not impose sanctions against it. Biden himself acknowledged that further sanctions against Nord Stream 2 would be counterproductive from the point of view of US-European relations.

It appears that Dmitry Peskov's statement was conciliatory in nature. It does sound like so against the background of what officials say in Kiev, Warsaw and the capitals of the Baltic states, where they treat the commissioning of Nord Stream 2 as Putin's victory in his aggression against Ukraine.

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