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Italy achieved independence from Russian gas supplies - Minister of Environment

Italy achieved independence from Russian gas supplies - Minister of Environment Italy has announced that it has rid itself of dependence on Russian gas (photo: Getty Images)

Minister of Environment and Energy Security of Italy Gilberto Fratin expressed Italy's decision to abandon Russian gas during a meeting with Ukraine's Minister of Energy Herman Halushchenko, according to the Ukrainian Ministry of Energy.

During the meeting, the parties touched upon the issue of extending the contract for the transit of Russian gas to European countries through Ukrainian territory.

"The Italian side informed that after the outbreak of a full-scale war in Ukraine, it was able to change the supplier of natural gas," the statement said.

Previously, Italy imported about 40% of its natural gas needs from Russia.

"Today, we are independent of Russian gas supplies," Fratin emphasized.

According to Halushchenko, intensive discussions are currently underway regarding Europe's options in the event of a cessation of the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine.

"However, most of Europe is definitely ready for this, as European Commissioner Kadri Simson has confirmed," the Ukrainian minister noted.

Gas supplies to Europe

European countries still receive Russian gas through Ukraine under transit contracts and through Turkiye. In the EU, they have successfully found alternatives to lost supplies via Nord Stream.

The EU 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 U.S.

Recently, European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson stated that EU countries are not interested in extending the gas transit contract with Russia. The EU has alternative options to ensure gas supply security.

Gas contract between Ukraine and Russia

The current transit agreement between NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine and the Russian Gazprom was concluded at the end of 2019 for a term of 5 years. Despite the large-scale war, Ukraine allows Russian gas to pass through its territory to countries such as Austria, Slovakia, Italy, and Hungary. The current volume of transit is 42 million cubic meters per day.

Earlier, Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko stated that Ukraine and Russia have little chance of reaching an agreement on extending the gas transit contract after 2024.

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