Ukraine’s Unsanctioned Gas Taking Angers Russia

MOSCOW, Russia -- From January 19 to 25, Ukraine took 326 million cubic meters of Russian gas intended for European consumers, Gazprom’s press service said.

The figure was announced on Friday at a meeting of Gazprom managers who discussed measures to ensure Gazprom’s gas supplies to Europe in connection with the cold weather. The meeting was chaired by Gazprom’s Deputy CEO Alexander Ananenkov.

Ukraine is taking up to 80 million cubic meters of gas a day without Russia’s sanction. Gazprom managers decided to send another telegram to Ukraine’s national oil and gas company Neftegaz asking it to stop taking Russian gas without permission and to observe the Russian-Ukrainian contract on gas deliveries.

“With much of Europe gripped by cold weather, Ukraine is taking advantage of its position as the country through which Russia transports its gas to Europe, not only exceeding its consumption levels, but also taking Russia’s additional supplies to Europe. Of all the countries through which Russia transports its gas, Ukraine is the only one to blatantly violate international norms of gas business. In fact, this means there is no control at all in Ukraine’s energy sector,” Ananenkov stressed.

Gazprom increased its deliveries to European partners through the Yamal-Europe and Blue Stream pipeline networks, it was said at the meeting. From January 16 to 25, Gazprom increased gas supplies to Russian consumers by 2.2 billion cubic meters.

Meanwhile, some industrial consumers failed to observe their schedule for switching to alternative fuels. They were supposed to reduce their consumption of gas by 211.5 million cubic meters a day, but it was only 45 million cubic meters in reality.

Igor Ivanov, Secretary of Russia’s Security Council, said earlier on Friday that Russia had a long-term strategy for energy cooperation with European countries, including Ukraine. “Ukraine is no exception, it was included in our long-term strategy,” Ivanov said, noting that Russia planned to increase its energy exports to Europe.

Anatoly Kinakh, Secretary of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said the creation of a joint Russian-Ukrainian gas company was not discussed at his meeting with Ivanov on Friday.

“Ukraine is interested in successful negotiations, so that all gas companies operate within the law, based on transparent financial schemes and performing their obligations both on the transportation and delivery of energy, and this work is continuing,” Kinakh said. “Ukraine and the Russian Federation are proving to the whole world that they, as two friendly countries, can solve these problems without external arbiters,” he said.

Source: RBC