Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Russia notes possible risks of gas transit to Europe through Ukraine (Alexander Novak, Energy Minister)

Russia does not want to allow risks in the course of gas transit to Europe through Ukraine, in case Ukraine does not provide gas injection to the underground storage facilities in the necessary volume, the Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said in an interview with Rossiya 24 channel after the trilateral meeting on gas between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union in Vienna.

According to him, the necessary volume of gas for Ukraine for the autumn-winter season amounts to 19 bln cubic meters.

"Currently about 12.5 bln cubic meters of gas are already injected into the underground storage facilities, including the second quarter," Novak said. He added that before the end of the summer roughly 7 bln cubic meters should be injected.

"The smaller volume, in our opinion, would create certain risks, because the possibility of raising gas is limited, and there would be the risks of taking gas from the transit pipeline for the European customers, which we would like to avoid," he said.

According to Novak, this is an acceptable volume that Naftogas of Ukraine is able to purchase. During the consultations the Russian side raised the issue of the European Commission helping Naftogas of Ukraine or the Ukrainian side represented by the government, if necessary.

"Today the European Commission said that the European Union reviews providing aid to the Ukrainian side in the amount of $1.8 bln. Additionally, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development should provide $600 mln by September, the International Monetary Fund - $300 mln. It will total $2.7 bln. But I would like to add that the funds will be allocated for the Ukrainian economy as a macrofinancial help, and we don’t know what part of those funds will be used for purchasing gas. We hope that the part of the money will be allocated to Naftogas of Ukraine, because they have a large loan debt amid difficult financial situation," Novak added.

He said that one of goals of the consultations is to identify the way of financing payment for gas and the European Union aid.


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