Sergey Kondratiev, Deputy Head of the Economic Department of the Institute for Energy and Finance, gave a comment to the Prime News Agency on gas imports by Ukraine.
Ukraine has not formally bought Russian gas since 2015. To emphasize the importance of this event, the Ukrainian "Ukrtransgaz" made a special meter. Formally, Ukraine switched to importing gas from Europe, receiving it according to a reverse scheme, but "in fact, this is a virtual, not a physical reverse," Sergey Kondratiev says.
That is, gas from Europe is not transported to consumers in Kiev or Odessa, but having traveled several kilometers through the territory of Ukraine, is returned back to the EU. And a decrease in the physical transit of Russian gas through the Ukrainian GTS will lead to a reduction and, possibly, a complete stop of the European reverse, the expert argues.
This, in his opinion, is already happening. In November, gas imports from the EU fell to their lowest levels after Hungary switched to gas supplies via the Turkish Stream, stopping imports through Ukraine. “The key problem here is not the launch of Nord Stream 2, but the fact that the Ukrainian GTS cannot really work in reverse mode - this requires billions of dollars in investments in infrastructure modernization. Russia will eventually lose a "single" system, and many consumers in the center and south of the country will lose access to gas," Kondratiev notes.
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