A new agreement have to guarantee volumes of transit and comply with European rules. “Naftogaz” does not want to predict when an agreement will be signed. Probably, after elections.
“The main task of Ukraine in these negotiations (on a new gas transit agreement with “Gazprom” - ed.) is the transit saving. Secondly, we want an agreement that will be signed only in accordance with European law”, said Andriy Kobolev, the Head of the Board of NJSC “Naftogaz”, at the press conference in Kyiv on Friday.
According to the Head of NJSC’s words, such conditions of an agreement will provide for guaranteed transit volumes and also guaranties that these volumes “will be offered for transit or Ukraine will be receiving money if the Russian company does not perform its obligation”.
The Head of the NJSC does not undertake to promise the approximate timing of the signing of a new agreement. And he is not sure that the new document will be able to be concluded before the current one ends. Moreover, the Head of “Naftogaz” admits that the Russian company kills the clock until the completion of elections in Ukraine.
“The Russian party in this matter is difficult to predict. My impression, based on what I have seen before, is that they are killing the clock. I think they shuffles to completion of the political process. Will there be enough time left to make a new agreement? If the preparatory processes will continue throughout the year, then yes”, A. Kobolev said.
Also Kobolev admits a variant of stopping the transit of Russian gas through the Ukrainian GTS to Europe:
“Is there a possibility that “Gazprom” will refuse and try to enter the period after 2020 without an agreement? Yes. This happened twice: in 2006 and 2009. Both times in January, creating fierce pressure, both on Europe and Ukraine”, said the Head of the Board of “Naftogaz”.
Andrei Kobolev believes that Ukraine in such conditions of negotiation must firmly defend its position, and negotiate as transparently as possible:
“It is necessary to negotiate in the most transparent way, understandable for our European partners. It was the main mistake in 2008–2009 – negotiations were conducted in the backstage way, which led to the consequences that exist today”.
In general, “Naftogaz” assesses the damage from gas agreements in 2009 to $32 billion, noting that it could be even greater, but thanks to the victory in the Stockholm arbitration "managed to save $94.7 billion, or 177 thousand UAH for a family".
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