Ukraine does not plan to negotiate with Russia to conclude a direct agreement for the supply of natural gas, Prime Minister of Ukraine Denys Shmyhal has said.
“Such negotiations are not planned,” he said in an interview to the lb.ua portal released on Tuesday.
The prime minister said that over 18.5 billion cubic meters of gas have already been accumulated in the underground storage facilities (UGS) of Ukraine [already 18.7 billion cubic meters], the country also has its own gas production, which will allow the coming heating season to pass.
According to him, one should not expect a significant re-export to the European market of gas owned by foreign traders, which is stored in the Ukrainian underground storage facilities.
“In any case, the first proposal is always made to Ukraine. With a probability of 100%, gas that is in Ukraine will be used here,” Shmyhal said.
The Ukrainian authorities will seek to maintain gas transit through the Ukrainian GTS in the future. “Surely, we will insist on maintaining the current level of transit for at least 15 years,” the head of government said.
According to JSC Ukrtransgaz, as of October 1, 2021, foreign service customers store 2.8 billion cubic meters of gas in the customs warehouse mode, while resident companies some 800 million cubic meters.
In Ukraine, residents of Severodonetsk (Luhansk region), Mariupol (Donetsk region), Kharkiv and Odesa the best treat Russia, according to the results of a study conducted by the Rating sociological group on behalf of the Center for Analysis and Sociological Research of the International Republican Institute.
According to the survey, 17% of residents in Severodonetsk assessed the attitude towards the Russian Federation as very warm, 30% – as warm, 34% – neutral. In Mariupol, 14% have a very warm attitude, 38% – warm, 25% – neutral.
In Kharkiv, the figures are 12%, 27% and 30%, respectively, in Odesa – 9%, 31%, 34%.
The attitude towards the Russian Federation among the residents of Zaporizhia is slightly worse: very warm – 8%, warm – 24%, neutral – 35%. In Mykolaiv, respectively, 8%, 19%, 32%, in Dnipro – 6%, 23%, 36%.
The worst attitude towards Russia is in Lviv. There, only 1% has a very warm and 3% warm attitude, 18% – neutral. Some 58% of residents are very cold and 17% are cold.
A similar situation is in Ivano-Frankivsk and Ternopil, where 50% are very cold towards Russia.
The survey was conducted in 24 regional centers of Ukraine, in non-occupied territories, including Mariupol and Severodonetsk in Donbas. The survey was conducted on the basis of a sample that included 19,196 respondents.
The study was conducted from May 12 to June 3, 2021 using face-to-face interviews at home with respondents.
The statistical error for each city does not exceed ± 3.5%. The attainability of the respondents averaged 65%.
Russia has no intention of halting gas transit through the territory of Ukraine following the launch of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova said on Thursday.
However, this issue depends on the volumes of future European procurement and the competitiveness of alternative routes, Zakharova said.
“We are ready to continue gas transit through the territory of Ukraine, but this issue is purely a commercial one,” Zakharova told a press briefing in Moscow.
It “depends on many factors, including the volumes of future European procurement and the competitiveness of alternative routes,” she said.
Besides, speaking about attempts to link the start of the normal operation of Nord Stream 2 to “other subjects,” Zakharova said Moscow “continues to regard them as an example of absolutely illegitimate politicization of energy cooperation, which radically contradicts market principles.”
When calculating the updated electricity forecast balance, the Ministry of Energy of Ukraine does not consider the import of a resource from the Russian Federation and Belarus, First Deputy Energy Minister Yuriy Vlasenko has said.
“When calculating the forecast balance, we do not envisage the import of electricity from Russia and Belarus,” he said on the margins of the energy forum in Kyiv, organized by Energy club, on Wednesday.
At the same time, he drew attention to the fact that imports are prohibited until October 1, but are not considered in the future.
At the same time, Vlasenko said that a feature of this autumn-winter period will be the operation of the Integrated Power System, as well as Burshtyn TPP energy island in an isolated mode, providing for their disconnection from all power systems.
“We need to work this way for three days in winter and summer. As for winter, we are also working on it with Ukrenergo, when we will work in an isolated mode – in late January or early February,” Vlasenko said.
Germany wants the agreement on the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine to be prolonged as soon as possible, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said.
“Our cooperation in the sphere of energy is very important. It already exists, but it will continue, also because there will be further traffic through the Ukrainian gas transport system from Russia to Europe. I have spoken about that with the Russian president [during the visit to Moscow on August 20] that we want to prolong the agreement, which is in effect until 2024, as soon as possible. We will also speak about that in Europe and with the companies that are associated with that here,” Merkel said at a press conference with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in Kyiv on Sunday.
Germany will also have its own special envoy on transit issues, Merkel said.
“We agree with the Americans that gas cannot be used as a weapon. And therefore, we will be holding these talks with the Americans,” Merkel said.
“It has to be said that Nord Stream 2 is not a German-Russian project, there are companies from Germany, the Netherlands, and France there. And therefore it’s a European-Russian project, it is subject to European law, it is subject to the law of the Third Energy Package because we are not fully free in regulation, but should cite exactly that, therefore we didn’t hold these talks from the German side, but we supported that on the European side,” she said.
Merkel said Ukraine needs to develop in the direction of climate neutrality.
“We will export gas from Russia to Europe after 2024, and it’s important here that Ukraine should stay a transit country, and it’s important that this agreement should stay, and then step by step – it’s very important to Russia – Ukraine should also develop in the direction of climate neutrality. Germany should achieve that by 2045. That is why gas consumption will decrease, and then gas will not go on Nord Stream or via Ukraine’s gas transport system, and then Ukraine should be ready for what can be done then,” Merkel said.
One of the possibilities is partnership in the sphere of green energy, namely on hydrogen, she said.
“But it’s not a problem that can replace transit via the Ukrainian gas transport system from 2024. However, due to the renewable sources of energy, which can be expanded in Ukraine, it is possible to help here to produce green hydrogen by means of hydrolysis, by means of green energy from renewable sources of energy and use it,” the chancellor said.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel will visit Russia on August 20 and will travel to Ukraine on August 22, German government spokesperson Steffen Seibert told reporters in Berlin on Friday.
“The chancellor will visit Moscow on Friday and Kyiv on Sunday,” Seibert said.