Ukraine committed a strategic error in rejecting Russia and its European partners renting the gas transport system, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during a press conference in Moscow.

"I think that our Ukrainian partners committed a strategic fundamental error. Russia and Europe proposed to lease the Ukrainian GTS, without breaking the Ukrainian legislation, leaving it to the property of the Ukrainian state. We wanted to lease and develop the GTS," Putin said.

According to him, the events happened in recent years, including a scandal in 2009, has prompted Russia to speed up the construction of infrastructure projects (compelling Russia to opt for building gas pipelines to Europe that bypass Ukraine - Ed.).

He recalled that the North Stream pipeline is already built, having the capacity to transport 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year, the South Stream pipeline, to have capacity of 63 billion cubic meters, is under construction now.

According to Putin, the liquefied gas supplies will also be developed.
"We won’t have such a dependence on traditional transit countries. So, the existence of the Ukrainian GTS will be put to question. This is a system problem of the Ukrainian economy," Putin said.

At the same time, he said that Russia is ready for dialog on this issue.

In his view, if the economic entities continue operating as the closest partners and true friends, a compromise will be found.

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