Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk accused Russia of masterminding the conditions to block the transit of gas to Europe this winter.
"We know about Russia's plans to block the transit of gas even to EU countries. This is why European companies were instructed to store up gas in Europe to the maximum," said Yatsenyuk.
According to him, Russia seeks to completely disconnect Ukraine from all energy sources. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak immediately responded to the allegations, saying that such statements are a deliberate attempt to mislead European consumers of Russian gas.
"Certain remarks from Ukrainian politicians about an alleged intent of Russia to block the transit of Russian gas to the EU are puzzling. We can qualify them only as an absolutely groundless attempt to deliberately misinform European consumers of Russian gas," Novak said, Vesti-Finance reports.
Such statements from representatives of the Ukrainian administration may mean that Ukraine is sounding out opportunities for unauthorized withdrawal of the Russian gas, to subsequently accuse Russia of its inability to meet obligations to European partners.
Earlier, the Ukrainian authorities have already begun to hastily prepare a legislative framework for the illegal withdrawal of gas. Back in mid-August, Naftogaz of Ukraine offered European buyers of Russian gas to conclude direct contracts for its transit through Ukraine to Europe. In this case, the starting point for the delivery of gas is moved from the borders of EU-Ukraine to the Ukraine-Russia border, which excludes Gazprom's control over real volumes of gas supplies to Europe via the territory of Ukraine. It is easier to control the supply of gas to Europe at the exit from Ukraine, at European gas detection stations. If the point of gas purchase is moved from the EU-Ukraine border to the border of Ukraine and Russia, the Ukrainian side will always be able to blame Russia for insufficient supplies of gas to Europe.
In late March, Russia sent to Italy a group of epidemiologists and specialists from radiation, chemical and biological protection troops of the Defense Ministry to help disinfect medical facilities in Italy