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EU says gas supply not at risk from Ukraine transit issue, blames Moscow

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FILE PHOTO: llustration shows Natural Gas Pipes and EU and Russian flags

By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS (Reuters) -Ukraine's announcement on Tuesday that it would suspend the flow of gas through a transit point bringing Russian fuel to Europe does not present a gas supply issue, the European Commission said on Thursday, blaming Moscow for the disruption.

"While these developments may have an impact on part of the gas transit to the EU, they do not bring about any immediate security of supply issue for the EU," a Commission spokesperson said.

GTSOU, which operates Ukraine's gas system, stopped shipments via the Sokhranivka route after saying on Tuesday it could not operate at the Novopskov gas compressor station due to "the interference of the occupying forces in technical processes".

Novopskov is the first compressor in the transit route for around a third of the Russian gas piped to Europe through Ukraine.

"The current situation is clearly a result of actions by the Russian side. Ukraine has been a reliable transit partner for many years," the Commission spokesperson said.

The Novopskov station in the Luhansk region of eastern Ukraine has been controlled by Russian authorities since early April.

Ukraine has remained a major transit route for Russian gas to Europe even after Russia's invasion, which Moscow refers to as a "special military operation".

The Commission said Ukrainian authorities had asked Russian gas giant Gazprom to transit gas through an alternative Sudzha interconnection point further west, but that they had not yet received a response.

EU energy Commissioner Kadri Simson and Ukraine's energy minister Herman Halushchenko were due to speak on Thursday.

(Reporting by Kate AbnettEditing by Mark Potter)

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