Ukraine won’t negotiate gas transit extension with Russia, minister says
Ukraine does not plan to negotiate the extension of the gas transit deal with Russia when it expires next year, Ukrainian energy minister Herman Galushchenko told Voice of America.
The contract, which provides for Russia’s gas transit to Europe through Ukraine, expires in 2024, and its extension will depend on whether Europe can do without Russian gas, Mr Galushchenko said.
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He said he hopes next year Europe will be able to diversify its supplies and will not need Russian gas at all.
"Firstly, we will definitely not be a party to negotiations with the Russians, and this is absolutely obvious, and secondly, I think that next year will be indicative of Europe's ability to function without Russian gas at all. I see all the prerequisites for this to happen," the Ukrainian minister said.
It is too early to predict what will happen next year due to Russia’s unpredictable aggressive policy, Mr Galushchenko added.
"We are dealing with the Russians; they can terminate this contract any day. It is quite obvious that this is not related to legal formalities."
The minister also noted that Ukraine could play a significant role in ensuring the stability of the gas market in Europe this winter, since European companies continue to store gas in Ukrainian gas storage facilities, and this trend will only grow.
"I am sure that the next month will only see an increase in gas injection, which means that Ukraine is a reliable partner even during the war. Secondly, it means that Ukraine is able to guarantee security of supply for Europe, and this is important," he stressed.