Viktor Kalnik, Ambassador of Ukraine to Bulgaria, said that a second gas crisis could not be expected, as Ukraine and Russia had successfully negotiated the gas transit tariffs. He emphasized that in the end it was proved Ukraine never misappropriated gas quantities. Kalnik commented that Ukraine had already invited Russia to participate in its gas transportation projects. He concluded that both sides had come to the realization, that conflicts were not beneficial for either of them, as Ukraine suffered financial losses from gas transit and Russia lost money from lowered gas production.
In Kalnik’s words, Ukraine was not threatened by Russia’s intention to redirect the gas transit route trough South Stream, as with reconstructing its network it had the potential to increase the volume of transited gas to 60 billion cubic metres. This, according to him, will be the cheaper decision for Europe. He stated that the minimum investment in a pipeline constructed over the seabed would be USD 15-20 billion, while the reconstruction of Ukraine’s gas transit network would be worth no more than EUR 2-3 billion.
He concluded, that South Stream had a point in the years prior 2009, when Russia had not yet experienced the severe blow of the economic crisis and had not spent its currency reserves. Kalnik stated that most countries were now facing difficulties with investments in such projects. Still, he assured Ukraine was willing to participate in both South and Nord Stream as it disposed of the respective technology to lay the pipes.