September 1, 2017 / 7:25 AM / a year ago

Russian gas exports via Ukraine up 23 pct this year

KIEV, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Russian natural gas volumes piped via Ukraine to European consumers are up by 23.4 percent so far this year at 61.9 billion cubic metres (bcm), Ukrainian gas transport monopoly Ukrtransgaz said on Friday.

Ukrtransgaz gave no reason for the high supply but said this volume was the largest for the last six years.

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

Last year Russian gas exports via Ukraine rose by 23 percent to 82.2 bcm, up from 67.1 bcm in 2015 and 64 bcm in 2014 but well below the 116 bcm transported in 2010.

Relations between Kiev and Moscow have deteriorated since Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula in March 2014 and Ukraine halted its own imports of Russian gas in November 2015 after a clash with Gazprom over prices and payments.

Ukrtransgaz said Ukraine, which buys gas only from European countries, imported 9.4 bcm of gas in the first eight months of this year. (Reporting by Pavel Polityuk; Editing by Greg Mahlich)

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