Thursday, July 18, 2024
 
 

EU wants progress in Russia-Ukraine gas talks

The EU will host a fresh round of Trilateral Gas Talks between Russia and Ukraine on 19 September in Brussels

- Advertisement -

The European Union will host a fresh round of Trilateral Gas Talks between Russia and Ukraine on 19 September in Brussels with European Commission Vice President Maroš Šefčovič stressing that a solution needs to be found as it is important for the future gas trading operations of both countries.

“Pleased to announce that I will host the next round of Trilateral Gas Talks on 19 September. I am convinced that progress would send a strong positive signal to market as well as consumers ahead of the winter season,” Šefčovič wrote in a tweet.

A European Commission spokeswoman told New Europe on 13 September that the expectations for the Trilateral Gas Talks “are to follow-up on the discussion that took place in February.”

On 9 September, Šefčovič met Ukraine’s Energy Minister Alexey Orzhel to discuss the upcoming talks and the progress of much-needed energy sector reforms in Ukraine. Šefčovič and Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak had agreed to hold trilateral talks this month during a telephone call on 6 September but the precise date was only announced after consultations with the Ukrainian side.

The contract for Russian gas transit across Ukraine expires on 31 December and the European Union wants to find a solution to avoid natural gas cutoffs.

Katja Yafimava, a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies, told New Europe on 13 September she does not expect a breakthrough at the upcoming round of negotiations.

“I think it will be more about getting to know each other as the Ukrainian delegation will be different compared to the January 2019 round and will want to express their positions,” Yafimava said in reference to the new presidential administration of actor-turned-politician Volodymyr Zelensky, who defeated his incumbent rival Petro Poroshenko in a landslide electoral victory in April. Yafimava added that if any breakthrough were to be made it would be closer to the end of the year.

The Oxford energy expert believes that Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom would want to book capacity on an annual basis whereas Ukraine’ National Joint Stock Company Naftogaz and the European Commission want it to conclude a 10-year contract.

Yafimava explained that Gazprom is not obliged under EU law – which Ukraine has committed to incorporate and implement – to book on 10-year basis, but could agree if certain concessions are made by Kyiv when it comes to direct purchases of Russian gas and/or arbitrations settlement and the European Commission’s commitment not to raise obstacles to the Nord Stream/OPAL and Nord Stream-2 pipelines.

“I think that, at best, Gazprom could hope to have one string of Turkish Stream and one string of Nord Stream-2 if Denmark gives an operational permit by January 2020, which means it would still be short of export capacity without Ukraine to continue to export to Europe at the 2019 level,” Yafimava said while adding that the recent OPAL judgment makes concluding the deal more urgent, but is likely to reduce Gazprom’s goodwill in the negotiations.

Meanwhile, many European countries, and Ukraine have injected large amounts of gas into Underground Gas Storage (UGS) facilities ahead of winter. Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller told a briefing with Russian President Vladimir Putin on 9 September the question of the transit contract is essential, and yet the top-priority question is whether Ukraine will buy Russian gas under a direct contract.

The new Ukrainian prime minister, Oleksiy Honcharuk, said in televised remarks, cited by Reuters on 11 September that the negotiations with Russia would be complex, but that Naftogaz has stored 19 billion cubic metres of gas to hold the country over through the winter.

“Ukraine had stored enough gas to minimise its vulnerability “to any attempts to put pressure on us during the negotiations. We feel confident,” Honcharuk said.

follow on twitter @energyinsider

- Advertisement -

Subscribe to our newsletter

Co-founder / Director of Energy & Climate Policy and Security at NE Global Media

Latest

Policies on Deforestation Show Europe’s Internal Splits

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once famously...

NATO Summit: “Trump-proofing” Ukraine support while Biden appearances under a microscope

The July 9-11 NATO Summit was originally envisioned as...

Russia failing to replace lucrative European gas deliveries with sales to China

Russia’s attempts to build the Power of Siberia 2...

Astana SCO Summit reaffirms its growing geopolitical role

The 24th summit of the Council of Heads of...

Don't miss

Policies on Deforestation Show Europe’s Internal Splits

Former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once famously...

NATO Summit: “Trump-proofing” Ukraine support while Biden appearances under a microscope

The July 9-11 NATO Summit was originally envisioned as...

Russia failing to replace lucrative European gas deliveries with sales to China

Russia’s attempts to build the Power of Siberia 2...

Astana SCO Summit reaffirms its growing geopolitical role

The 24th summit of the Council of Heads of...

Uzbekistan: A Key Player in the (Central Asian) Great Game

Uzbekistan has had considerable success in attracting billions of...

NATO Summit: “Trump-proofing” Ukraine support while Biden appearances under a microscope

The July 9-11 NATO Summit was originally envisioned as a celebration of the alliance’s 75th anniversary at the organization’s founding venue in Washington D.C.,...

Russia failing to replace lucrative European gas deliveries with sales to China

Russia’s attempts to build the Power of Siberia 2 (PS-2) natural gas pipeline to China appear to be stalling despite repeated statements from Moscow...

Uzbekistan: A Key Player in the (Central Asian) Great Game

Uzbekistan has had considerable success in attracting billions of dollars of aid, concessional debt, and co-investment, which has helped transform the economy since 2017....

EU strengthens energy cooperation with Chile, Argentina

This week EU Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson visited Chile and Argentina to step up cooperation with these two countries in the energy field, with...

Jeffrey Sachs: three times a traitor

An economist with an international reputation, Professor Jeffrey Sachs has increasingly raised his profile in the world media. A U.S. citizen, he accuses his...

Japan, the Republic of Korea (ROK), and the U.S. condemn DPRK-Russia Cooperation

During his June 19-20 visit to Pyongyang, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a comprehensive strategic partnership treaty...

European election results show EU is at an inflection point

A few days after the European Parliament elections, Marilena Raouna, Cyprus’ Deputy Minister for European Affairs, sat down with NE Global on the sidelines...

G7 Summit focuses on Ukraine support and shattering Russia’s wartime economy

Despite last week’s expert punditry (itself almost indistinguishable from AI) on the latest G7 decisions as exhibited by the “instant experts” on global issues...