BERLIN, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak has told a German newspaper that European countries cannot re-export Russian gas to Ukraine due to contract reasons, and hinted those that do could face gas cuts.
In the text of an interview to be published on Friday in Germany’s Handelsblatt newspaper, Novak said re-exports were unacceptable - reversing a position he took in an Austrian newspaper interview last week
“The contracts signed do not have any provisions for re-exports,” Novak told Handelsblatt. “We hope that our European partners respect the past agreements. That is the only way to guarantee un-interrupted supplies.”
In an interview on Sept. 18 in Austrian newspaper Die Presse, Novak said Russia would not curb gas exports to Europe this winter to prevent countries from re-exporting supplies to Ukraine.
“That is ruled out,” he said when asked by Handelsblatt whether Moscow would limit gas exports to curb supplies to strife-torn Ukraine, whose deliveries from key supplier Russia have been cut off since mid-June in a row over prices.
Russia opposes the pro-Western course of leadership in its fellow ex-Soviet republic and denies its troops have taken part in the war in Ukraine or provided arms to rebel fighters despite what Western governments and Kiev say is incontrovertible proof.
Reporting By Erik Kirschbaum; editing by Michael Nienaber and Susan Thomas