Thursday, April 30, 2009
'Russian gas transit still at risk'
04-30-2009 - Upstream OnLine - Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin said today that transit risks remain for Russian gas deliveries to Europe, according to reports. "From our point of view, risks remain. We have not yet reached guaranteed stability and we are prepared to clarify our position on this issue," Russian news agency Interfax quoted Sechin, who oversees Russia's energy sector, as saying. The comments were made during a meeting with EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs, Interfax reported. Meanwhile, Reuters quoted Sechin as saying that Russia is prepared to contibute toward the cost of delivering the required amounts of gas to allow transit to European consumers through Ukraine. "When we say there's a problem, we also propose a solution. We have even agreed to co-financing," Sechin said. Meanwhile, Piebalgs said an EU-backed plan to overhaul Ukraine's gas pipeline network was not an attempt to isolate Russia. "There was no attempt to isolate Russia," Piebalgs told reporters after meeting Russian Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko. The intention was to modernise the Ukrainian gas pipeline system, he said. Piebalgs, in Moscow to discuss energy security, said a new energy pact proposed by Russia this month would not replace the current European Energy Charter, but was a more ambitious overall plan.