WARSAW, May 02. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia may file claims to arbitration courts over reverse gas supplies from European countries to Ukraine, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told a news conference on Friday after talks with Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Minister of Energy Yuriy Prodan and European Commissioner for Energy Gunter Oettinger.
He noted that the issue of reverse gas supplies had not been raised at the Warsaw talks. “Proposals on virtual supplies require serious legal study. We must look at the illegality of the withdrawal of gas meant for European consumers,” he said, adding that he did not rule out that Russian might seek settlement at court of arbitration.
The Russian minister noted that in order to ensure uninterrupted gas supplies to European countries it was necessary to store some 12 billion cubic metres of gas at Ukraine’s storage facilities during the summer period. “We have heard from our Ukrainian colleagues that gas storing during the summer period is not guaranteed and problems with gas supplies are possible,” Novak said. “It is very serious information for us, which we must analyze.”
“Russia expressed concern over the difficult situation over possible limitation of gas transit at Ukraine’s border with European partners because of Ukraine’s non-payment for Russia gas,” he said. “It may end up in unsanctioned gas withdrawal and its pumping to underground storage facilities.