Interruption of Russian gas supply through Ukraine improbable this winter
Baku, Azerbaijan, Oct. 13
By Aygun Badalova - Trend:
The Russian gas supply through Ukraine to Europe will unlikely be disrupted this winter, Vladimir Likhachev, the deputy director of the Energy Research Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Trend.
"The probability of such failures is quite low," he said. Of course, everything can happen, especially provocations in eastern Ukraine. But I think that Gazprom firmly intends to supply in winter."
The Russian company resumed gas supplies to Ukraine on Oct. 12 morning, by receiving the advance payment worth $ 234 million of promised $500 million from Naftogaz Ukraine, the Russian media reported, citing Gazprom head Alexey Miller.
In late September, Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission initialed an agreement on the conditions of winter gas supplies to Kiev. According to the protocol, Ukraine undertakes to buy 2 billion cubic meters of gas from Gazprom for injection into underground storage facilities. For this purpose, the international financial institutions will allocate $500 million to Ukraine.
In June, the Gazprom declared that Russia will abandon the transit of gas through Ukraine after 2019. As part of these plans, Russia initiated the Turkish Stream project, as well as negotiations on the expansion of the Nord Stream gas pipeline.
Commenting on the recent statement by EU Commissioner for Energy and Climate Action Miguel Arias Cañete that the currently available pipelines running from Russia are only half filled even without the implementation of the expansion of the Nord Stream project, Likhachev said that Russia is interested in the pipelines, that bypass Ukraine, regardless of how full the current capacities are.
"Russia wants to have capacities sufficient to meet European demand for gas without using the transit through Ukraine," he said.
The expert also linked the statement by the EU Commissioner with the desire of Europe to diversify its sources of gas supplies.
Likhachev went on to add that regardless of the volume of gas supplied by Russia, the EU will support the diversification of sources, in particular the project on Azerbaijani gas supplies.
The Southern Gas Corridor is one of the priority energy projects for EU. It envisages the transportation of gas from the Caspian Sea region to the European countries through Georgia and Turkey.
At the initial stage, the gas to be produced as part of the Stage 2 of development of Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz field is considered as the main source for the Southern Gas Corridor projects. Other sources can also connect to this project at a later stage.
Edited by CN
Follow the author on Twitter: @AygunBadalova