For EU security, gas transit via Ukraine should be maintained at least until 2035 – Natogaz CEO.

For the security of the European Union, gas transit through Ukraine must be maintained at least until 2035, when natural gas will be replaced by renewable energy sources.

That’s according to Yuriy Vitrenko, Chairman of the Board of Naftogaz of Ukraine, who shared his opinion on Facebook, Ukrinform reports.

"Europe's security requires transit through Ukraine to be maintained until natural gas is replaced by renewable energy, at least until 2035. Ukraine is a reliable transit state, ready to offer the most competitive conditions for transit at the moment," he said.

According to Vitrenko, the most realistic guarantee of having transit through Ukraine retained would be to transfer gas transmission points to the Russia-Ukraine border. This is about Gazprom's contracts, under which natural gas is now being supplied to Europe via Ukraine.

Read also: Ukraine's position on Nord Stream 2 unchanged - Shmyhal

Also, according to the Naftogaz CEO, it is necessary to create on Gazpromexport’s electronic platform points of delivery of additional gas volumes on the Russia-Ukraine border. This should be done so that European companies could order gas transit through Ukraine on their own.

In addition, access must be unblocked to the Ukrainian gas transmission system from the Russian side for other gas exporters to Europe, in particular from Central Asia.

Read also: Vitrenko comments on Nord Stream 2 operator’s loss in German court

"Gazprom must ensure non-discriminatory access to all gas pipelines connecting Russia and Europe, including via Ukraine. Without this, Nord Stream 2 can’t work because the operator’s certification must take into account, including the ‘solidarity principle,’” added Vitrenko.

As Ukrinform reported, in August, Nord Stream 2 AG, the construction operator of the NS2 pipe, lost a case in a German court to exempt the pipeline from the requirements of the EU Gas Directive.

EU's Third Energy Package is a package of directives and regulations on the European Union's energy and gas markets. The package was approved by the European Parliament in 2009. It aims to further liberalize energy and gas markets, as well as to strengthen consumer rights. In particular, it mandates unbundling: if a single company operates a transmission network and generates or sells energy at the same time, it may have an incentive to obstruct competitors' access to infrastructure. This prevents fair competition in the market and can lead to higher prices for consumers.

Nord Stream 2 is a Russian gas pipeline built bypassing Ukraine. It is laid through the Baltic Sea from Russia to Germany. The sole shareholder of the project is PJSC Gazprom.

Read also: Markarova : Ukraine, U.S. have no disagreement that Nord Stream 2 is Russia's geopolitical project

In July, the United States and Germany reached an agreement to settle a dispute over the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline. The agreement stipulates that Washington renounces its intention to impose sanctions on participants in the Nord Stream 2 project, while the EU reserves the right to impose sanctions on Moscow if Russia uses the pipeline as an instrument of energy pressure. The agreement also states the intention to maintain gas transit through Ukraine. Germany has promised to use all levers available to persuade Russia to extend the agreement on gas transit through Ukraine, which expires at the end of 2024.

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