Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during a meeting with Serbian President Tomislav Nikolic (not pictured) at Serbia Palace building in Belgrade October 16, 2014. (Reuters/Marko Djurica)
Moscow will reduce gas supplies if Kiev starts siphoning deliveries destined for Europe, said Russia’s President Vladimir Putin during a visit to Serbia.
“There are large transit risks. If we see that our Ukrainian partners start illegally taking our gas from the export pipeline as it was in 2008, we will equally reduce the amount of supply as happened in 2008,” warned Putin on Thursday at a news conference in Belgrade, stressing he was “hopeful”it would not come to that.
However, the Russian president pledged that Moscow will supply enough gas to Europe this winter.
“I can tell you for sure, and I am saying with absolute responsibility, there will be no crisis in Europe due to the fault of Russian participants in energy cooperation,” Putin stressed.
“Russia has always been a reliable supplier, we have enough resources.”
Given the threat of gas disruption, the South Stream project starts looking increasingly attractive and “beneficial for European consumers,” Putin said. The issues connected with the delay of the construction of South Stream are “of a political character” only, he added.
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