Ukraine threatens to close Russian gas pipeline

September 14, 2011

From Natural Gas for Europe:

Ukraine on Wednesday fired another salvo to Russia, seeking a categorical assurance from the latter
and the European Union on the need for maintaining the existing transit system to pump Russian gas to
Europe, failing which it may be scrapped.

The measured caution came from a spokesman for Prime Minister Mykola Azarov in the wake of the
recent launch of the Nord Stream pipeline project that bypasses Ukraine and links Russia and EU via
the Baltic Sea.

“Since Russia is constructing pipelines bypassing Ukraine, Ukraine needs to get a clear answer as to
whether Russia intends to continue using the Ukrainian gas transit system,” Azarov’s spokesman said.

“And if Russia is not going to use it, its maintenance will not be profitable for Ukraine, necessitating its
decommissioning or use elsewhere,” he said.

Urging a response from EU, the spokesman said ” If Ukraine stops the operation of its gas transit
system, it’ll be a very high risk factor for Europe and the EU (member states) need to speak out on
their plans for the Ukrainian gas transit route.”



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