"It is impossible to preserve and maintain our gas transport system without Russian gas. Our national property - Ukraine's gas transport system - must be preserved, so it needs guaranteed volumes of gas. We need guarantees from Russia and from the European Union," Chuprun said.
He noted that it was possible to use the Ukrainian gas transport system in full with the trilateral participation of Ukraine, Russia and Europe. "It can be used only at the trilateral level, with Russia being a supplier, Ukraine a transit country, and the European Union being a consumer, on such a solid basis," Chuprun said.
He also said that the construction of gas pipelines bypassing Ukraine - Nord Stream and South Stream - posed a direct threat to Ukraine's transit potential. "We are surprised that European officials have not responded to [the construction of] South Stream or Nord Stream. And silence is a sign of consent. This is a serious signal to Ukraine. This is a direct threat to Ukraine's gas transport system," he said.
Chuprun said that the Ukrainian gas transport system had a unique potential and that it was economically more profitable than the construction of pipelines bypassing Ukraine. "The cost of [the construction of] South Stream is USD 27 billion. For the sake of momentary gain, in order to get lower gas prices, certain EU countries forget that in five years they will have to pay for this," he said.
As reported, in January-November 2011, gas transit through Ukraine rose by 8.2%.
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