Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin expressed confidence that Russia will try to start a new "gas war" after the expiration of the current agreements on gas transit through the territory of Ukraine.
“I am sure that Russia will try to organize a new “gas war”. The chances are very high. Our partners understand this opportunity and state that we need to prepare for this by increasing the gas reserves in our gas storage facilities. Now both we and Europe are well aware of the likelihood of Russian provocations,” he said in an interview with Interfax-Ukraine.
According to the minister, Ukraine and the EU insist that future contracts be concluded in accordance with European rules, while Russia hints at the possibility of secret agreements.
“This means, in particular, that it is necessary to sell gas on the eastern border. The calculation of tariffs should be based on the methodology underlying European rules, so we can avoid any secret agreements. Russia now openly hints at the possibility of reaching an agreement, which means that they do not exclude the possibility of an agreement under their own terms,” Klimkin said.
He pointed out that no contracts are possible under the previous terms – not only politically but also legally.
As reported, tripartite negotiations on the transit of gas from the Russian Federation to the European Union through Natural gas transmission system of Ukraine ended on January 21 in Brussels. Naftogaz and the European Commission insist on preserving the transit and signing a new agreement that complies with European energy legislation.
The management of Gazprom, in its turn, expressed willingness to extend without consultation the agreement signed in 2009 by the former Prime Minister of Ukraine Yulia Tymoshenko.
The following trilateral consultations between Ukraine, Russia and the European Union regarding gas transit after 2019 are scheduled for May.