ua en ru

EU prepares for end of Russian gas transit through Ukraine, Bloomberg reports

EU prepares for end of Russian gas transit through Ukraine, Bloomberg reports The European Union is preparing to terminate the agreement on the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine (Sean Gallup / Getty Images)
Author: Daria Shekina

The European Union is not counting on the extension of the agreement on the transit of gas from Russia through Ukraine after the expiration of the current contract at the end of this year. Instead, Brussels is analyzing potential scenarios with alternative deliveries of blue fuel to Europe, reports Bloomberg.

The justification of the EU executive branch lies in the belief that even countries most dependent on Russian gas supplies, including Austria and Slovakia, could find alternative deliveries in case of a halt in gas transit through Ukraine, sources familiar with the matter told the publication.

The material states that the European Commission conducted a preliminary analysis of potential scenarios resulting from the termination of the transit agreement. This analysis included modeling the capacity of other connections, such as the TurkStream, to help compensate for a possible deficit.

This issue will be discussed with EU member states in February before officially presenting the plan to energy ministers at a meeting in Brussels on March 4.

Additionally, the article suggests that there are certain ways for countries and companies with contracts after 2024 to secure gas supplies through Ukraine.

One option is for Russia to supply gas to the Ukrainian border, and then an EU entity could enter into an agreement with the operator of Ukraine's gas transmission system to transport gas to Austria, Slovakia, or Czechia.

Ukraine denies readiness to reconsider gas transit agreement with Russia

It is worth noting that a recent RBC-Ukraine's source from the Ukrainian government stated that the issue of gas transit through Ukraine after 2024 is not currently under consideration. However, as Ukraine aims to become part of the European gas network, companies in EU countries could order transit capacities from Ukraine's Gas Transmission System.

Furthermore, Bloomberg's source added that the recent meeting between the Prime Minister of Ukraine, Denys Shmyhal, and the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Robert Fico, did not thoroughly discuss the issue of gas transit next year. In response to Fico's question about extending the contract, Shmyhal reportedly told his colleague that the current transit agreement with Gazprom, expiring this year, cannot be extended.

Gas supplies to Europe

European countries still receive Russian gas through Ukraine under a transit contract and via Türkiye. The EU has successfully found alternatives through Nord Stream to compensate for the lost supplies.

The European Union has stated that the bloc should seek to reduce its dependence on Moscow for gas. Russia is the second-largest supplier of liquefied natural gas to Europe after the United States.

Gas contract between Ukraine and Russia

The current transit agreement between NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine and the Russian Gazprom was signed at the end of 2019 for a term of five years. Despite the ongoing conflict, Ukraine allows Russian gas to pass through its territory to countries such as Austria, Slovakia, Italy, and Hungary. The current transit volume is 42 million cubic meters per day.

Earlier, Minister of Energy Herman Halushchenko stated that the chances of Ukraine and Russia reaching an agreement on extending the gas transit contract beyond 2024 were slim.

At the same time, Ukraine does not plan to renew the transit contract with Gazprom, which expires in December 2024.