Poland and Slovakia express readiness for ‘gas war’ between Russia and Ukraine

Polish oil and gas state company PGNiG stated that Poland is prepared if the transit of Russian gas to Europe through Ukrainian territory stops. The company has also presented possible options for fuel supplies in 2019-2023.

“If gas transit stops from the beginning of 2020, gas production in Poland, its reserves, and imports, including through Belarus, will amount to 25.6 billion cubic meters of gas per year with a total consumption of 19 billion.  If, after the expiration of the agreement between Russia and Poland on May 18, 2020, gas transit through the Yamal-Europe pipeline and reverse deliveries from Germany would stop, then Poland will receive 33.1 billion cubic meters of gas through Belarus, Ukraine, and other ways, as well as its production and reserves,” reports PGNiG.

“If the transit of fuel stops in both cases, Poland will receive 28.6 billion cubic meters of gas a year,” the company added.

Earlier, Slovak Economy Minister Peter Žiga said that the country began preparing for a new gas crisis because of the threat of suspension of the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine. The current agreement between Moscow and Kyiv expires at the end of this year. The parties have not yet agreed on its extension. Russia has offered Ukraine a one-year contract and demanded that Kyiv relinquishes the lawsuits against Gazprom, but Ukraine said that it is considering only a long-term agreement. Following the Normandy Four meeting, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky noted that the country is ready to receive a $3 billion compensation from Gazprom "with gas." The Kremlin refused to consider the issue resolved. Later, Ukrainian company Naftogaz said that Russia has "leverages" in the dispute over gas transit, noting that it is "too early to celebrate a victory."

On January 1, 2020, the current 10-year gas transit contract between Naftogaz of Ukraine and the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom will expire.

With the help of the European Commission, Ukraine has been trying to get Gazprom to sign a new 10-year contract for the transit of up to 90 billion cubic meters per year. However, Naftogaz is skeptical whether it will be signed, and Vitrenko said that the company should prepare for gas transit to stop in 2020.

In 2020, Russia expects to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will enable it to minimize its use of Ukraine’s gas transportation system.

  PGNiG, Poland, Slovakia, Ukraine, Russia