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    Putin: 'Ukrainian pipelines may bang'

    There is a gas crisis in Europe, which Vladimir Putin is taking advantage of, hoping to get approval for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Today, he argued that Ukraine’s pipelines, which are a crucial part of transporting Russian gas to the West, “could bang”.

    There is a gas problem in Europe – stocks in many countries, before the coming winter, are at historically low levels, and prices of blue fuel are reaching sky-high values. Europe is reliant on gas supplies from the East, and Vladimir Putin is playing his game by seeking approval for the newly created Nord Stream 2 pipeline.

     

    Today, at an energy forum in Moscow, he said that “administrative barriers” to launching NS2 are not being removed.

     

    Vladimir Putin estimated the consumption rate of Ukraine’s pipeline system – an important pipeline for gas transit to the West – at 80-85 per cent and said they could “bang”. He argued that Russia is ready to maintain the transit agreement with Ukraine after 2024, but “if economic and ecological conditions are ensured”. He also said Ukraine’s gas pipelines should be “brought up to standard”.

     

    At the same time, he “washed his hands” of the situation of rising gas prices and gas deficits in Europe, claiming that Europe was “trying to hide its own mistakes”.

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