Russia might this winter suspend the supply of natural gas to Europe via Ukraine to discredit this route, promoting the project of building South Stream gas pipeline and using Opal gas pipeline at full capacity, Head of Naftogaz Ukrainy Andriy Kobolev has said.

"The Russian side has a short-term goal – Opal pipeline, which delivers gas from Nord Stream to European consumers. The European Commission does not allow the Russian side to use it at 100%. The strategic goal is South Stream, the construction of which was blocked. Placing in question the reliability of the Ukrainian transit route, in fact blackmailing Europe, Russia might achieve the approval of these two projects. But maybe will not achieve," he said on First National TV channel.

In this regard, Kobolev said the probability of Russia's suspending gas deliveries to Europe through Ukraine this winter is quite high.

"The stakes in this game are very high, but we hope that common sense will prevail. Taking into account the overall situation, I would say that the likelihood that this [the suspension of gas supplies to the EU] will be done is more than 70%," the Naftogaz head said.