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BERLIN, February 20. /TASS/. Natural gas supplies to Europe may partly continue through Ukraine even after commissioning the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Saturday in an interview with Die Welt newspaper.
"We do not rule out certain gas deliveries will continue over the territory of Ukraine. The question is in economic feasibility of transporting over specific pipeline systems. Alternative routes create competition and reduce the transportation price for European clients. If a country is a monopolist in transportation, this impacts on the price. Ukraine has already announced multiple increase of the gas transit price," the minister said.
Nord Stream-2 is the construction project of the natural gas pipeline with the capacity of 55 bln cubic meters from Russia to Germany across the Baltic Sea. The project will be implemented by the joint project company, where Gazprom will hold 50%, E.ON, Shell, OMV, BASF / Wintershall, and Engie - 10% each.
According to Russia's Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky, the European Commission and Ukraine did not approach the Russian Energy Ministry with a proposal to hold talks on gas.
"Neither the European, nor the Ukrainian side approached the Russian side," he said, answering the question about a proposal to hold negotiations on the "summer gas package."
Earlier, Vice President of the European Commission, in charge of Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic told TASS that the European Commission in its bilateral contacts with Russia and Ukraine has been probing into a trilateral meeting on gas. Sefcovic said he had informal contacts with both sides about a possibility of such a meeting but neither decision not date had been agreed yet.