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Putin: Risky to boost transit via Ukraine – pipeline system could burst altogether and Europe would be left without this

MOSCOW. Oct 13 (Interfax) – It would be dangerous to boost transit or Russian gas via Ukraine as its transmission system could burst altogether due to wear, leaving Europe without this channel of supply, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during the Russian Energy Week forum.

He said Russian gas supplies via Ukraine would exceed long-term contractual obligations by 10% this year. "They could at least say thank you but instead all we hear is abuse," Putin said.

"Ukrainian gas transmission system equipment wear is 80%-85%. This system has to be brought to standard before pumping," he said.

Putin said Russia was prepared to maintain the contract to pump gas via Ukraine after 2024 and even to increase it, but an understanding of the volumes was needed. "We are ready to keep the contract going if economic and environmental terms can be assured. We are ready – everything needs to be counted," he said.

Putin said relations between Russia and Ukraine deteriorated "after we were unable after 2008 to raise the gas pumped there."