The European Commission declares the Ukrainian gas transportation system remains one of the principal routes for the supply of Russian natural gas to Europe, but calls upon Ukraine's authorities to develop a long-term strategy in this area.

"Ukraine's gas transportation system is one of the principal routes for Russian gas supplies to Europe. Ukraine's unique geographical location and its opportunities not only for transiting gas but for its storage and production means that Ukraine can offer greater flexibility for gas shipments," European Commission Spokeswoman Marlene Holzner said in Brussels on Thursday, according to Interfax-Ukraine.

The European Commission also believes that Ukraine "urgently needs to develop a long-term strategy to remain a reliable and competitive player in natural gas transit."

Brussels also noted that it is expected increased demand for imported natural gas in the EU in coming years. "That's why Ukrainian gas transport system is very important to the EU and to the whole European continent," Holzner said.

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