HomeMediaLatest NewsRussia, the EU and Ukraine are not interested in stopping gas transit after 2024

Russia, the EU and Ukraine are not interested in stopping gas transit after 2024

16 February 2024

Belogoryev Alexey M. Research and Development Director, Director of the Center for Energy strategic analysis and forecasting

Alexey Belogoryev, Research and Development Director of the Institute for Energy and Finance, commented to InfoTEK on the prospects for the Russian gas transit through Ukraine after the completion of the transit contract in force until December 2024.

Alexey Belogoryev believes that the parties are most likely lying, stating their unwillingness to extend transit after 2024. All parties are interested in this: Russia, Ukraine and Europe, especially Austria, Slovakia, Hungary and partly Italy.

Another question is that no one wants to extend the five-year contract between Gazprom and Naftogaz, the parties will look for other ways to preserve transit.

The expert recalled that it was the European Commission that initiated the conclusion of a five-year transit contract in 2019, whereas the Russian side initially did not want to sign it, but aimed to replace the Ukrainian route with the Turkish Stream and other gas pipelines.

"At least two EU countries, Slovakia and Austria, will not be able to do without Russian gas for at least the next 3 years, in 2025-2026 for sure and under a big question – in 2027. Austria announced plans to stop supplies only in 2027, Slovakia has about the same goals, but no dates were given," Belogoryev said.

He noted that Austria and Slovakia have routes to replace Russian gas, but there are no sources of supply. And they are unlikely to appear before 2026.

Therefore, at least three countries (including Hungary) in Europe will oppose the termination of transit and the European Commission will have to hear their voice.

"As for the transit itself, I do not yet see a scenario in which it would stop. Gazprom also has no alternative to supplying consumers in Slovakia and Austria, as well as in Moldova, primarily in Transnistria. He has no other routes. Therefore, Russia is also interested in preserving this transit on some grounds," the analyst said.

Belogoryev noted that Ukraine itself, for economic reasons (not political ones), is not interested in stopping transit, since in this case it will not be able to maintain the operability of its gas transportation infrastructure, and the costs for it will fall on the shoulders of consumers. In addition, Ukraine still continues to use (according to indirect data) the virtual reverse of Russian gas: formally, it buys gas from European consumers, but physically it does not cross the border with Slovakia, the analyst noted.
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