For us it is a principal issue. Gazprom has launched a programme to optimise expenses in the central corridor which now has free capacities which also cost us money. We will hence liquidate 4,300 km of pipes and close 62 compressor stations.
The US officials gave a positive assessment of Ukraine's sourcing of gas from Europe and the ongoing reform at Naftogaz and Ukraine’s gas market. They also commended the implementation of the corporate governance reform, which was based on OECD principles for state-owned enterprises.
Socar President Rovnag Abdullaev disclosed last week that Azerbaijan was in the process of negotiating an agreement under which it would purchase 3-5bn m³/yr of gas from Gazprom.
Russia has been developing new pipeline projects such as South Stream, Turk Stream and Nord Stream 2. If one of them were to be realized then transit risk stemming from Ukraine would be severely minimized and Moscow would have important strategic leverage.