Russia Wants “Profitable Conditions”, “Just Court Decision” on Ukraine Gas Transit: Official

Russia’s conditions for the continuation of its natural gas transit via the territory of Ukraine after 2019 are “economically profitable conditions” and a “just decision of court disputes” between Ukraine’s Naftogaz and Russia’s Gazprom, a Russian official has said, according to RIA Novosti.

The current gas transit deal, a subject of geopolitical controversy and numerous court battles and arbitrations between the two country’s gas monopolies, expires at the end of this year.

“As for the transit of the Russian natural gas across the territory of Ukraine, we are ready to maintain it based on the economically beneficial conditions and the just settlement of all court disputes between Gazprom and Naftogaz,” Sergei Prikhodko, First Deputy Head of the Russian government office said told journalists on Monday.

He stressed that Russia intends to continue gas transit “along the routes via Ukraine as well as other countries” despite the concept of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which Gazprom is currently building under the Baltic Sea. The project will carry Russian gas directly to Germany and Europe, bypassing Ukraine, Poland, and other transit countries in the region. The U.S. has condemned the project, which it claims will increase Europe’s energy dependence on Russia.

“Russia has repeatedly stated its readiness to maintain gas transits via the Ukrainian gas distribution system after 2019 based on the mutually acceptable terms,” Prikhodko said.

“In order to achieve this aim, it is necessary to coordinate relations between the involved companies, agree on economic conditions and to form an atmosphere, which would provide for a civilized dialogue,” he added.

Asked by journalists whether the Nord Stream 2 project would be on the agenda of talks between Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and his French colleague Edouard Philippe in France on Monday, Prikhodko said Russia “was ready to discuss any issue, including the one regarding the supplies of the Russian natural gas to Europe.”