MOSCOW — Russia's state natural gas company wants its exports to Europe to bypass Ukraine entirely and go via a proposed new pipeline to Turkey.

Gazprom head Alexei Miller made the statement Wednesday. He said European countries that want Russian gas will have to scramble to build pipelines to connect with Turkey.

Russia last month abandoned its South Stream pipeline project, which would have run under the Black Sea to southern Europe, citing European Union opposition. South Stream would also have bypassed Ukraine.

EU Energy Commissioner Maros Sefcovic, who met with Miller in Moscow, expressed reservations about the latest plan, saying "maybe we can find some better solution."

Russia has long sought to either get control over Ukraine's pipelines to Europe or get around them.