Russian President Vladimir Putin believes that Gazprom must continue to fulfill its contractual obligations to supply gas through Ukraine to the EU.
"It is necessary to fully comply with the contractual obligations for the transit, delivering our gas through the territory of Ukraine, through the gas transportation system of Ukraine," the head of state said at a meeting on the development of the energy sector on Wednesday.
"Firstly, we should not put anyone in a difficult position, including Ukraine, despite all the aspects related to the Russian-Ukrainian relations today, and secondly, we should not undermine the credibility of Gazprom as a reliable, absolutely reliable partner in every way," Putin explained.
"I am asking you, as the Energy Minister, to take these issues under your personal control and ensure that Gazprom fulfills all its contractual obligations for the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine to Europe," the President told Energy Minister Nikolai Shulginov.
The Russian President also noted that Gazprom should not increase gas supplies through new pipelines bypassing Ukraine, although this is beneficial.
"Gazprom believes that it is economically more viable, it would even be more profitable to pay a fine to Ukraine, but to increase the volume of pumping through new systems precisely because of the circumstances that I mentioned - there is more pressure in the pipe, less CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. Everything is cheaper, around 3 billion a year. But I ask you not to do this," the President said.