No legal means for halting reverse gas supplies to Ukraine from Europe - Novak
There are no legal means for halting reverse supplies of gas to Ukraine from Europe, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with Interfax.
"It is clear to all that these reverse supplies are artificial: gas doesn't arrive in Ukraine from Austria or Slovakia, but from the Velke Kapusany gas distribution station on the Slovakia-Ukraine border, through which Russian gas transits to Europe. This is our Russian gas, only purchased by Ukraine through European intermediaries," Novak said.
"Not only that, if the balance of supplies of Russian gas to Europe is analyzed, it can be seen that exports to Slovakia and other European countries last year rose by roughly the amount by which gas supplies to Ukraine declined. That is, the balance of Russian exports has been maintained," he said.
"We cannot affect this process legally, since operation of gas pipelines in reverse mode is provided for in European law," he said.
"But perhaps, there is no pressing need for this. If Ukraine wants to pay a higher price to European intermediaries, then it's more of a problem for Ukraine itself. In the end, its consumers pay more for gas, significantly more," he said.