Russia again could cause crisis with gas supplies to Europe over delaying talks on gas transit via Ukraine's GTS – Naftogaz CEO

With a delay in the signing of a new contract on gas transit via the Ukrainian gas transmission system (GTS) after 2019, Russia could again repeat crisis with deliveries of gas to European consumers, CEO of national joint-stock company Naftogaz Ukrainy Andriy Kobolev has said.

"By the end of December, when there will be frosts and there will be no new contract, it is likely that the Russians hope to repeat the same trick that was in 2009 with the disconnection of gas supplies along the Ukrainian corridor for European consumers. This will cause a crisis and it can be used, for example, to promote the idea of Nord Stream 2, which today is significantly stalled," he said on the ICTV channel late on Monday.

Kobolev again said that the launch of the Nord Stream 2 and the TurkStream, together with the complete refusal of gas transit through the territory of Ukraine, could untie the hands of the Russian Federation as a country that annexed Crimea and occupied part of the Donbas, to continue military aggression.

"This has nothing to do with the gas business. This is a strategic goal. They have been systematically working on it since 2005. Removing gas transit from the territory of Ukraine, speaking about the security issue that interests everyone, Russia is opening its way to extended aggression," he said.

As reported, Ukraine insists on signing a contract with Russia's Gazprom for the transit of gas after 2019 according to the European rules and with unconditional implementation of the decisions already taken by the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.