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Naftogaz considers Putin's statement on dependence of Ukraine's gas as start of talks

Christian Fernsby |
Chairman of the executive board of Naftogaz Ukrainy Andriy Kobolev has considered a statement of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing on April 27 that Ukraine's gas supply fully depends on transit of Russian gas via it as the start of holding the negotiations.

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"As we expected, Moscow has begun negotiations on the extension of gas transit immediately after the completion of elections in Ukraine. The Russian president held this round from distant Beijing. Of course, there was no word about the need of transit for Russia and Gazprom's readiness to enter into a contract on standard European conditions. It was about how Ukraine would freeze," he wrote on his Facebook page.

Kobolev reminded that Gazprom does not have time to build and launch all the necessary gas pipelines for it bypassing Ukraine by the end of December 2019, therefore the parties will be forced to come to an agreement based on European rules.

"Ukraine has implemented the EU legislation that establishes clear rules and requirements for the use of gas infrastructure. Actually, neither Gazprom nor Naftogaz have a significant room for maneuver," he wrote.

According to Kobolev, the operation under the European rules will also allow transferring gas transmission points to the eastern border of Ukraine. "That is, to offer the capacity of the Ukrainian gas transmission system to other gas transit countries, for example, to European customers of Gazprom, or to other Russian producers, or gas sellers from Central Asia, if the EU is actively involved in the issue," he said.

"The Russians will avoid this by all means. Of course, we expect a massive information attack against European rules and in favor of the continuation of existing contracts in the old version, before they were changed by the tribunal, against a transparent market and competition, in favor of fake discounts that Ukrainian politicians prayed for in the Kremlin, against us collecting $2.8 billion from Gazprom, against the next arbitration, where we demand about $12 billion, against sanctions against Nord Stream 2 and engaging the EU antimonopoly body in the fight against manipulation by Gazprom on the European gas market," the head of Naftogaz said.

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