Ukraine refuses to set new gas transit terms with Russia – energy minister
Ukraine will not conduct negotiations on the extension of the gas transit contract with Russia after its completion.
The Minister of Energy of Ukraine, Herman Halushchenko, stated this in an interview with "Voice of America."
As the head of the department said, the contract, which provides for the transit of Russian gas to Europe through the territory of Ukraine, expires in 2024.
Halushchenko also emphasized that Ukraine will definitely not be a party to negotiations with the Russians regarding the possible transit extension.
In addition, the minister expressed hope that Europe will be able to diversify supplies next year and will not need Russian gas at all.
"I think that the next year will be indicative from the point of view of the possibility of Europe functioning without Russian gas at all. I see all the prerequisites for this to happen," Halushchenko emphasized.
However, the head of the ministry added that it is still too early to predict what will happen next year due to Russia's unpredictable, aggressive policy.
"We are dealing with the Russians — they can terminate this contract any day. It is absolutely obvious that this is not related to legal formalities," the government official said.
Halushchenko believes that this winter, Ukraine can play a significant role in ensuring the stability of the gas market in Europe. European companies continue to store gas in Ukrainian gas storage facilities despite the war, and this trend, according to the minister, will only grow.
"I am sure that the next month will only increase the volume of gas injections, which means that Ukraine is a reliable partner even during the war. Secondly, it is that Ukraine can guarantee the security of supply for Europe, and this is important," he summarized the head of the department.
It should be noted that according to the Ministry of Energy, more than 12.3 billion cubic meters of gas have already been pumped into Ukrainian underground gas storage facilities as of August.
"This gives confidence to say that by the heating season, all the necessary volume of gas will be pumped into the storages. Also, because the level of trust of the partner countries in Ukraine is growing, the volume of gas injection from non-residents is also increasing," said Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko.
In addition, on August 17, the President of Ukraine, Volodymyr Zelensky, held a meeting where preparations for the winter were also discussed during the meeting.
Also, until the end of the next heating season, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine [government – ed.] will extend the effect of special obligations regarding gas for thermal utility companies. The government will also halve the base gas price.