It is technically possible to pump to Europe all natural gas Russia is selling via Belarus, Bohdan Sokolovsky, an expert on fuel issues, told ZIK June 22.
Currently, Ukraine pipelines carry 110 bln cu m of gas annually. They can even pump 160 bln cu m. Russia transits via Belarusian pipelines between 30 and 45 bln cu m. In view of Kremlin refusal to pump its gas via Belarus, the alternative route via Ukraine can be easily used, with no interstate agreements to be signed, Sokolovsky noted.
Sokolovsky cannot predict how long the present spat between Belarus and Russia will last. He praised the neutral stand taken by Ukraine FM in the conflict.
Comment by ZIK
Belarus Pres Lukashenka ordered to cut the transit of the Russian gas via his country, in retaliation to Gazprom reducing the amount of transit gas by 30% UNIAN reports.
Russia wants Belarus to pay for gas at a higher price, saying Belarus already owes it $190 mln. Lukashenka insists that Russia owes Belarus $260 mln in transit fees. Lukashenko accused the Russians, saying their absurd demand of paying $190 mln when they owe Belarus $260 mln is cynical.