Gazprom seeks new ways to deliver gas to EU
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After the EU asked for immediate resumption of full gas deliveries, Russian giant Gazprom announced it was looking for alternative routes for EU gas in order not to rely on Ukrainian transit. Gazprom has shut down gas deliveries to Ukraine.
AFP - Russian energy giant Gazprom can no longer depend on Ukraine as a transit route to get gas to Europe and is looking at alternatives, the firm's deputy chief executive told the BBC here Friday.
"We believe it's necessary to develop, as soon as possible, alternative transit routes and we hope that Europe will make any necessary steps to support the realisation of this project," Alexander Medvedev told the broadcaster.
Medvedev has embarked on a tour of European capitals to win support in the Ukraine gas crisis, which has raised new concerns about the reliability of supplies via Ukraine to Europe.
Gazprom cut supplies to the Ukrainian market on New Year's Day in a payment dispute.
Both sides said they were committed to ensuring transit supplies to European neighbours were maintained, but there were mutual recriminations between Moscow and Kiev as Hungary and Poland each reported shortfalls and the EU demanded contracts be honoured.
Medvedev denied in the BBC interview that Gazprom was deliberately picking a fight with Ukraine, saying it was ready to talk but there was nobody to negotiate with in Kiev.
"We are ready to enter negotiations day and night, but they probably have other tasks than to solve this problem because they are not in Moscow," he said.
Gazprom currently has two new gas pipelines under construction -- the Nord Stream pipeline, which will run from Russia's Baltic port of Vyborg to Greifswald in northern Germany, and the South Stream, which will cross the Black Sea into Bulgaria and then split, going to Austria and also Greece.
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