Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev announced that in 2019, the Ukrainian company would continue negotiations on the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine. He stressed that the format of the negotiations will remain trilateral and not directly with Gazprom.
"We rely on European law and Ukraine's interests and will start negotiations with Gazprom on further transit solely in the trilateral format with the participation of the European Commission,” Kobolev wrote on Facebook .
In late December, Kobolyev pointed that Russia’s actions show that it does not intend to provide guarantees of the gas transit through Ukraine in 2019. Russia has been decommissioning compressor facilities which are used for Ukrainian gas transit. According to him, Russia might redirect the transit to the Nord Stream pipeline.
Earlier reports stated that the EU expects to keep the transit of the Russian gas to Europe through Ukraine after 2019 even though Gazprom suspended the trilateral negotiations on transit scheduled for September.
Kobolyev stated that terminating the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine would harm the Ukrainian economy costing it 3.5 billion dollars: almost 3% of the country’s GDP. He also said Gazprom's proposals regarding the transit after 2019 were unacceptable.
On March 5, Gazprom stated that it sent a note to Naftogaz regarding the beginning of termination of contracts. Ukraine filed a lawsuit against Russia to the World Trade Organization.