(QHA) -

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu expressed hope that Ukraine would remain a transit country for gas deliveries it receives from Russia.

Davutoglu was speaking ahead of talks with top EU officials in Brussels on Thursday.

The Prime Minister’s announcement comes after Russian energy giant Gazprom reaffirmed its intention to transport gas through Turkey instead of Ukraine, calling on Europe to build the needed infrastructure to carry the gas onward from the Greek-Turkish border.

"Energy is the basic challenge for the Turkish economy," he said. "If there is any route or any pipeline coming to Turkey from anywhere, Turkey would welcome it. We want to get as much energy as possible - not as an alternative to Ukraine," he said

As the project of South Stream pipeline was suspended, Russia announced its plans to build a new gas pipeline to Turkey.

The South Stream would have bypassed Ukraine and flowed underneath Turkey's waters in the Black Sea and through the Balkans, crossing Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary and Slovenia and then Austria to connect with the main European pipeline network.