Realization of the Russian project South Stream leaves open the issues regarding advisability of the Ukrainian gas transportation system modernization, European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger told during a business lunch at the European Policy Center (EPC) in Brussels, UKRINFORM reported.

At the same time, according to the European Commissioner, it is cheaper to use the existing pipelines and to modernize them, than to build a new infrastructure.

Answering a question of UKRINFORM's own correspondent Oettinger noted that the European party is interested in reliable work of the Ukrainian gas transportation system, which is important for supply of gas to the markets of the EU member countries.

However, according to him, the Ukrainian GTS is not in a very good state now, too much gas is lost. Just because of this, the European Commission jointly with European partners and the IMF intends to continue financial support of projects on modernization of the GTS in Ukraine.

The European Commissioner explained, in particular, that modernization of the gas transportation system has no sense, if there is no gas. Gas comes from Russia. According to the Commissioner "Therefore, we take into consideration our positions." He said that the Nord Stream is the first direction that goes round Ukraine, with a capacity of 50 billion cu m. The South Stream will be the second such direction with another 55 billion cu m. Therefore, according to him, Russia could supply gas without participation of Belarus or Ukraine, since now it exports 120 billion cu m of gas to the European market. The European Commissioner said that this leaves open the question.

Oettinger expressed hope that bilateral relations between Kyiv and Moscow will develop well, like a tripartite partnership between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union.

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