Ukraine could mothball part of its gas transport system, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said at an international forum in Yalta on Saturday.

He said that Ukraine incurred heavy costs on the maintenance of gas pipelines despite the fact that they are not used in full. "The annual capacity of the Ukrainian gas transport system is 150 billion cubic meters of gas, with three pipelines each having the capacity of 50 billion cubic meters, but about 80 billion cubic meters of gas is pumped," Azarov said, according to UKRINFORM.

Ahead of the forum in Yalta, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych proposed modernizing the Ukrainian gas transport system without the construction of the South Stream gas pipeline. He said that the issue concerned the construction of the South Stream pipeline through southern Ukraine. "We offer a flexible approach without the construction of South Stream. South Stream should run on land in the south of Ukraine," Yanukovych said. The president noted that the South Stream project was estimated to be worth EUR 25 billion. "Our project would be five times cheaper," he said.

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