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Ukraine rejects Russian natural gas transit offer as unacceptable

Gasoil News - Published on Mon, 16 Apr 2018

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AFP reported that Ukraine has rejected a natural gas transit proposal by Russian energy giant Gazprom as an unacceptable and unprofitable proposition for Kiev. Gazprom said that it could continue pumping reduced volumes of gas to western and central Europe through an existing Ukrainian trunk pipeline. The suggestion came after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said a deal for the Nord Stream 2 project Gazprom has been pushing was impossible "without clarity about the Ukrainian transit role."

Nord Stream 2 is a proposed expansion of an existing link that connects Russia directly to Germany via the Baltic Sea. Ukraine has bitterly opposed the project because it fears it will undermine its traditional role as the main transit country for Russian gas exports to Europe.

Mr Alexei Miller, Gazprom chief, said that his company had never raised the prospect of stopping all Ukrainian transit and it could maintain volumes of 10 to 15 billion cubic metres per year.

But Ukrainian Energy Minister Mr Igor Nasalyk said those amounts were too small to make Russian gas transit economically viable.

Mr Nasalyk was quoted as saying by the Interfax-Ukraine news agency "Our country will not accept such volumes. For Ukraine, this is unprofitable."

He said that Ukraine would have to invest its own resources to keep Russian gas pumping at the levels offered by Gazprom. He added that Russia needed to pump at least 40 billion cubic metres per year to make it "economically profitable" for Kiev.

Recently Russia's Energy Minister Mr Alexander Novak discussed the issue during a phone call with the European Commission vice president for energy, Maros Sefcovic.

The energy ministry said in a statement that "It was decided to hold a bilateral meeting at a date to be agreed later."

Gazprom and Ukraine gas company Naftogaz regularly do battle in the Stockholm arbitration court. Last month the Russian energy giant was ordered to pay USD 2.6 billion to Naftogaz to settle all of their legal disputes and ordered to resume deliveries of Russian gas to Ukraine.

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Posted By : Nanda Koijam on Mon, 16 Apr 2018
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