Ukraine willing to accept gas in lieu of Gazprom’s $3 billion debt

Naftogaz of Ukraine has responded to Gazprom’s official one-year gas transit proposal, Yuriy Vitrenko, executive director of the Naftogaz group, wrote on Facebook.

He effectively confirmed that Ukraine finds the proposal unacceptable, and pointed out that “Gazprom has every opportunity to sign a new long-term contract for gas transit through Ukraine” according to European regulations. Ukraine is hoping that Russia will reserve transit capacity for 10 years.

Vitrenko remarked that even if it is merely a “safety” option before a long-term contract is signed, a short-term contract would still have to be based on European regulations.

At the same time, Naftogaz made its own suggestion of how the gas war could be avoided: gas transmission to the Ukraine-Russia border and swap operations. In such a scenario, Gazprom would transfer a certain quantity of gas to the border, and from there Naftogaz would transmit it through the related operator to European countries.

Naftogaz also expressed its willingness to reach a settlement in the implementation of the Stockholm Arbitration Institute’s decision, which ruled that Gazprom owes Naftogaz nearly $3 billion.

“Cash suits us, but if Gazprom wants to repay this debt using gas shipments, we are prepared to consider such a proposal,” Vitrenko wrote.

The Ukrainian company believes that the withdrawal of the international arbitration disputes, the Anti-Monopoly Committee of Ukraine’s decision to fine Gazprom, and the appeals to the European Commission, cannot be a precondition for the extension of transit, since the new contract must be signed with a company that is not part of the Naftogaz group.

“To sum up, we still do not see legitimate reasons for the new contract for gas transit through Ukraine not to be signed according to the European rules, and we express our willingness to work on this in good faith on our side,” Vitrenko wrote.

  Ukraine, Russia, Naftogaz, Gazprom

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