Ukraine should remain a gas transit country, President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen said at a press conference in Kyiv.
“It is clear and constant for the European Commission Ukraine is and must remain reliable gas transit country,” the European Commission’s president said.
From September 20, transit through Ukraine within 48 hours will be possible without self-isolation, installation of the application “Vdoma” and testing, according to the State Border Guard Service of Ukraine.
Thus, in order to prevent the spread of acute respiratory disease COVID-19 caused by the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 in Ukraine, the resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine of September 13, 2021 No. 954 amended the resolution of December 9, 2020, No.1236.
“Foreigners and stateless persons who enter Ukraine for transit and have documents confirming departure from the country within 48 hours, are released from self-isolation, installation of the application ‘Vdoma’ and testing in Ukraine,” a statement on the Facebook page of the State Border Guard Service said on Wednesday.
The agency reported that the need to have an insurance policy (certificate) issued by an insurance company registered in Ukraine, covering the costs of treatment COVID-19, observation, and is valid for the entire period of stay in Ukraine, remains unchanged for all foreign citizens and holders of a residence permit, regardless of the country of arrival to enter Ukraine.
All foreign citizens, holders of a residence permit, as well as stateless persons must have one of these documents upon arrival in Ukraine.
In particular, a document confirming the receipt of one or more doses of the vaccine against COVID-19, included by WHO in the list of permitted for use in emergencies; or a foreign COVID certificate confirming vaccination against COVID-19 with vaccines that are included by WHO in the list of permitted for use in emergencies, a negative result of testing for COVID-19 by PCR or recovery of a person from COVID-19; or a negative PCR test or rapid test for SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus antigen performed no more than 72 hours before entry.
Certificates of testing and vaccination are not required for children under 12 years of age.
“Foreign citizens over the age of 18 who have not been vaccinated against coronavirus and cross the state border for entry must have a negative test result and install a mobile application ‘Vdoma’ egardless of the length of stay in Ukraine,” the State Border Guard Service said.
Self-isolation is not used if PCR testing or rapid antigen testing is performed within 72 hours of entry and a negative result is obtained.
The decision comes into force on September 20, 2021.
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.”
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.
Hungary has included the railway in the list of possible transit routes for Ukrainian citizens, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.
“A week ago, Peter Szijjarto and I agreed that Hungary would allow transit to Austria for Ukrainians traveling by train. The Hungarian government has fulfilled the agreement and included the railway in transit routes just when the visa-free regime is being restored. We are expanding the freedom of travel of Ukrainians,” Kuleba wrote in Twitter on Thursday.
Gazprom (MOEX: GAZP) has again refused to book additional transit capacity via Ukraine for July despite the upcoming major repairs on export gas pipelines, according to data of the Regional Booking Platform.
Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine LLC on Tuesday put up for auction additional interruptible transit capacities for July totaling 63.7 million cubic meters per day, which were fully unclaimed.
Russia’s state-owned gas company has a long-term booking capacity of 40 billion cubic meters via Ukraine for 2021 at 109 million cubic meters per day, having booked an additional 15 million cubic meters per day at the June 21 auction for a total of 124 million cubic meters per day. Gazprom in June has been pumping an average of 124 million cubic meters per day via Ukraine at the fully booked volume.
When an auction for solid capacities is 100% sold, then an auction for interruptible capacities may be organized depending on the capabilities of the gas transmission system operator.
Gazprom earlier this year did not book interruptible capacities during the auctions held for May and June. However, major repairs are scheduled for July along the concern’s main export trunklines. For example, Nord Stream, which pumps 170 million cubic meters per day, is scheduled for annual maintenance from July 13 to 23; and Yamal-Europe, which pumps around 100 million cubic meters per day, is scheduled for maintenance from July 6 to 10.
The balance of the European gas market is becoming increasingly tense because of the unusual seasonal regularity of falling LNG supplies, and supplies of pipeline gas are decreasing owing to scheduled repairs. Pumping of gas into underground storage facilities is at minimum levels, leaving little doubt that Europe could begin the new winter season with half-empty UGS facilities.