Russian gas transit through Ukraine will exceed required contractual volumes – Energy Ministry

Russia is set to exceed its contractual obligations for gas transit through Ukraine this year, Energy Minister Nikolay Shulginov told reporters on Thursday.

I believe we will. It is difficult for me to say the percentage, but we will,” he stated.

The agreement in question includes the transit of 65 billion cubic meters of gas in 2020 and 40 billion cubic meters each year from 2021 to 2024.

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Ukrainian authorities recently announced they would like to extend the gas transit contract without waiting for the current agreement to expire. Kiev believes this will guarantee that gas transit continues after 2024. No official confirmation of the new agreement has been issued, but Russian officials have repeatedly stated that there are no plans to stop delivering gas to Europe through Ukraine after 2024.

Russian President Vladimir Putin urged state energy giant and main gas exporter Gazprom earlier this week to continue to fulfill its contractual obligations on gas transit.

Firstly, we should not put anyone in a difficult position, including Ukraine, despite all the aspects related to Russian-Ukrainian relations today, and secondly, we should not undermine the credibility of Gazprom as a reliable, absolutely reliable, partner in every way,” Putin said.

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Kiev has expressed fears that Russia could end the transit once it launches gas deliveries through the newly built Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which is awaiting EU certification. However, Moscow dismissed these fears, saying it does not intend to cut Ukraine off. Some Ukrainian officials, as well as officials from other Eastern European states, also alleged that Russia has been manipulating gas prices in Europe, which have grown dramatically in recent weeks. But these allegations were also rejected, including – most recently – by the European Commission itself.

Russia is fulfilling its gas supply contracts, we have no reason to believe that it is putting pressure on the gas market or manipulating it,” Deputy Head of the European Commission Frans Timmermans said on Thursday in an interview with Bulgaria’s bTV.

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