NORD STREAM DEVELOPING
Russian Minister for Energy Alexander Novak has said that Ukraine is costing its own energy consumers money by refusing to buy Russian gas.
In an interview with Russian business channel RBC, summarised on the Russian Energy Ministry's website, Novak said that the price Ukraine paid for gas import from Europe in the fourth quarter of 2015 was higher than the price being offered by Russia.
Ukraine announced that it was halting its purchases of Russian gas in November 2015, following a long-running dispute on gas prices.
The minister also said that Russia will continue to transit gas through Ukraine and won't conduct negotiations on the extension of a transit contract between the two countries until it is closer to the contract's expiration date in 2019.
Speaking on other transit matters, Novak said that the Nord Stream-2 project would develop rapidly in 2016. The pipeline extension project continues to move ahead, despite opposition to from several European countries, including Ukraine. Earlier this week, Chairman of Gazprom's Management Board Alexey Miller said that pipe layers were being considered for the Nord Stream-2 pipeline extension. He identified Saipem as one potential company under consideration for the task.
Gazprom, Russia's largest producer and exporter of gas, is the lead shareholder in the Nord Stream-2 consortium with a 51% stake. Wintershall Holding, E. ON Ruhrgas, Gasunie and GDF Suez hold the remaining shares.
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