Kyiv: Extending old Russian gas transit contract would be pointless

It would make no sense for Kyiv to extend the current gas transit contract with Moscow beyond January 1, 2020, said Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev while speaking at the Ukrainian Gas Forum, UNIAN reports.

“It’s hard for me to imagine why the new gas transport system operator, why the Ukrainian party would be interested in extending the old contract,” he said.

In Kobolyev’s opinion, there should be a new contract exclusively with the new operator and based solely on European regulations.

In April 2019, Kobolyev told TSN in an interview that Naftogaz of Ukraine cannot sign a new contract with Gazprom because it would constitute a breach of its commitments to the EU regarding the management of the gas transport system (GTS).

“The new contract must be signed not with Naftogaz, but with a new GTS operator company. So far, we have heard an offer from Gazprom to extend the contract with Naftogaz. We cannot agree to this, because it would be a breach of our commitments,” Kobolyev said at the time.

As part of its agreements with the European Energy Union, Ukraine has undertaken to unbundle Naftogaz, i.e. to separate the transport, storage, extraction and sale of gas. At present, all of these functions are performed by Naftogaz and its subsidiary UkrTransGaz.

The company “Gas Pipelines of Ukraine” (MGU), which will be given control of Ukraine’s GTS as part of the unbundling, must sign the new gas transit contract, Kobolyev explained.

During a meeting with Georg Waldersee, German Commissioner for Gas Transit through Ukraine, on October 9, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller discussed the possibility that Kyiv’s work to implement the EU’s Third Energy Package may not be completed by the end of the year, when the current gas transit contract expires.

“If this comprehensive work is not finished by January 1, 2020, the only option for cooperating during the transitional period is an extension of the current gas transit contract, adapted to current market conditions,” Gazprom said in a statement.

  Naftogarz, Gazprom, Kyiv

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