Russia not planning to stop gas transit to EU via Ukraine; Nord Stream 2 to compensate Europe for more costly LNG, falling output - Putin
Russia will not halt gas transit via Ukraine if this is deemed to be economically feasible, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF).
"I've already said this and I want to say it again: we won't be shutting off gas transit via Ukraine if this is economically feasible. We're prepared for talks with our Ukrainian partners," he said.
Putin said was Russia was carrying out the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project not with the purpose of bypassing Ukraine but to compensate Europe for a drop in production of its own gas. Also, pipeline gas will be more profitable in this case than buying liquefied gas.
"But the thing is that when we talk about the Nord Stream 2 project, bearing in mind falling output in Europe itself in the Netherlands and Britain, that shortfall by European producers will have to be replaced by something. The most correct and environmentally justified means of replacing this would be Russian pipeline gas," he said.
"Specialists in this area know that in some places it makes more sense to carry out liquefied gas projects, for example supplies, to the States once again, to India, to other remote markets. But over a certain distance and in a certain volume pipeline gas alone might be the most profitable, because all our pipeline systems tied to the main consumers in Europe practically have no rivals - if of course Europe wants to stay competitive, and does not want to buy for three times more from other producers," Putin said.
"Both production and delivery over such distances and at such volumes enable us to lower the price of gas that can technically be supplied by the United States by at least 30%," he said.