Ukraine does not intend to negotiate with Russia over the extension of the contract on gas transit to Europe, Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said in an interview with Strana.ua (RBC’s August 17 summary). Halushchenko said: “We will definitely not be a party to the negotiations with the Russians… I think that next year will be indicative in terms of Europe’s ability to function without Russian gas at all”.
The current contract was signed in 2019 for five years. It expires at the end of 2024. Under the terms of the agreement, during this time Gazprom must pump 225 billion cubic meters of gas through Ukraine, including 65 billion cubic meters in 2020 and 40 billion cubic meters each following year.
In early August, Halushchenko said in an interview with the Financial Times that an extension of the contract was unlikely and Ukraine was preparing its energy system for the cessation of supplies. Serhiy Makohon, the former head of the company Operator of the State Transit System of Ukraine (OGTSU), also said that it was necessary to prepare for the termination of transit.
The head of Naftohaz, Oleksii Chernyshov, said that the Ukrainian side should fulfill its contractual obligations. He left it up to the countries that receive Russian energy supplies, including Hungary, to decide whether to cut off supplies.