ST PETERSBURG (Reuters) - Russia still wants a new pipeline route to export gas to southern Europe despite the cancellation of the South Stream gas project, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday.

Putin said the expansion of the Nord Stream pipeline, under the Baltic Sea, was not an alternative to the canceled South Stream route.

He also said Russia was not turning its back on exporting gas to Europe via Ukraine, but that it was vital there were alternative routes too.

(Reporting by Alessandra Galloni; Writing by Christian Lowe; Editing by Catherine Evans)