January 2, 2019 / 1:46 PM / a year ago

Ukraine says Russian gas transit falls 7 pct in 2018

KIEV, Jan 2 (Reuters) - Russian natural gas volumes piped via Ukraine to European consumers fell by 7 percent in 2018 to 86.8 billion cubic metres (bcm), the Ukrainian gas transport monopoly Ukrtransgaz said on Wednesday.

Ukrtransgaz gave no reason for the decrease.

More than a third of Russia’s gas exports to the European Union now cross Ukraine. Russian gas giant Gazprom has said it wants to bypass Ukraine by building new pipelines.

Russian gas exports via Ukraine were 93.5 bcm in 2017 and 82.2 bcm in 2016.

Relations between the two countries have deteriorated since Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 and Ukraine halted its own imports of Russian gas in 2015. (Reporting by Natalia Zinets Writing by Pavel Polityuk Editing by Edmund Blair)

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