Ukraine Monitor presents the latest news concerning internal and external matters of Ukraine – a unique country where the interests of the East and the West clash almost every day.
Date: 30 October 2023 Author: Grzegorz Kuczyński
Ukraine Plans to Stop Russian Gas Transit
Ukraine does not intend to extend the Russian gas transit contract after it expires at the end of 2024, according to Oleksiy Chernyshov, chairman of the state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz. Consequently, Ukraine will stop transit once the deal expires. Ukraine continues to transit Russian gas only to support its European colleagues who need this volume of gas, Chernyshov said. In response, Russia said the Ukrainian intention not to extend the contract past 2024 could run a major risk to both Kyiv and the European Union. A sudden halt to the remaining gas flows through Ukraine to Europe would be disruptive and raise gas prices in the affected countries and beyond, according to sources in Russia.
Ukraine does not intend to extend the Russian gas transit contract after it expires at the end of 2024, Oleksiy Chernyshov, chairman of the state-owned oil and gas company Naftogaz, said in an interview on October 29. Chernysov said a section of the pipeline ran through Russian-occupied territory and thus Kyiv was not paid transit fees in full. Sokhranivka, one of the two entry points of Russian gas to Ukraine, sits on the border of Russia’s Rostov Oblast and Russian-occupied Donbas so Gazprom did not pay the agreed fees in full. Back in 2019, Gazprom and Naftogaz signed a five-year agreement to deliver 65 bcm of gas in the first year and 40 bcm in the following four years. In May 2022 Ukraine suspended Russian natural gas flows through the Sokhranivka route, claiming it had been come under Russian occupation. Consequently, Russian gas flows through a single transit point in Sudzha. According to Gazprom, the transfer of capacity to Sudzha was technologically impossible. The European Union has announced its intention to stop consuming Russian gas altogether by 2027 in a move that Ukraine supports. According to the chief executive of Naftogaz, Ukraine now has the third-biggest gas reserves in Europe. He added that Kyiv would remain committed to becoming a net exporter of natural gas. The European Commission said in a statement that it is too early to comment on the upcoming expiration of an agreement on the transit of Russian natural gas via Ukraine as the current agreement is due to end on December 31, 2024.
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