Gazprom Head Warns of 'Restrictions' If EU Sells Gas Back to Ukraine
Gazprom head Alexei Miller said Friday that the state-owned gas giant could retaliate against European countries if they were to sell its gas back to Ukraine through large-scale reverse gas flows.
"There is no physical reverse flow," Miller told journalists at a briefing, ITAR Tass reported. "But if we detect a reverse flow on gas-measuring stations in Europe, we may impose restrictions," Miller said.
Moscow cut off supplies to Kiev in mid-June after Ukraine failed to meet a deadline to pay a $1.95 billion gas debt, despite extensive negotiations leading up to the deadline.
In late April, Ukraine and Slovakia signed a reverse flow agreement that would make use of an old, unused pipeline to begin exporting 2 billion cubic meters, or bcm, to Kiev in October.
Ukrainian energy officials have since proposed a plan to the EU Commission that would allow Ukraine to increase reverse flows via Slovakia to 30 bcm, Kommersant reported.
According to a UralSib report published Thursday, Gazprom would lose nearly $3 billion in 2016 if the EU accepted the proposal.