Ukraine Promises Smooth Russian Gas Transit to Europe


KIEV, Aug 11 (Reuters) – Ukraine state gas grid Naftogaz said it would continue uninterrupted pumping of Russian gas exports to Europe through its territory even if Ukraine imposes its own sanctions on Russia.

"Naftogaz affirms its readiness to continue smooth transit of natural gas to European consumers," Chief Executive Andriy Kobolev said in a statement on Monday.

Ukraine Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said last week that parliament would debate sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, which could include bans on Russian gas and sanctions against Russian banks.

Russia halted gas supplies to Ukraine in June due to disagreements over pricing, but Russian gas transit through Ukraine to Europe was unaffected. Russian gas accounts for about a third of Europe's gas needs, and about half of that amount passes through Ukraine.

Russian gas export monopoly Gazprom is the only company that pumps Russian gas to Europe through Ukraine.

Naftogaz said that possible sanctions in the gas sector could "limit or exclude" some companies from the Ukrainian transit market. It did not explain whether the move could affect Gazprom.

Gazprom declined to comment on possible Ukraine sanctions.

Naftogaz said that transit of gas via Ukraine could be carried by companies that are not subject to sanctions and that these firms had to sign transit agreements with Ukrainian transit monopoly Ukrtransgaz.

(Reporting by Katya Golubkova and Pavel Polityuk; editing by Jason Bush and Jane Baird)


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