KIEV, October 29. /TASS/. Ukraine’s state-run oil and gas company, Naftogaz of Ukraine, said after the three-party talks on Ukrainian gas transit in Brussels on Monday it was not ready yet to discuss any package of deals with Russia.
"So far, the Russian side has provided us with no official proposals to settle the questions that remain open. That’s why it is impossible to speak about any kind of "package deal to solve all problems," including the variant of settling Gazprom’s debt on the outcomes of the Stockholm arbitration," the company said in a statement posted on its website.
According to the company, its position regarding future relations with Gazprom is fully in line with the European Commission’s opinion, which believes that the new Russian-Ukrainian gas contract should be long-term and envisage significant volumes of transit. It should be signed with Ukraine’s new gas transit operator to emerge on January 1, 2020, and relations between the companies "should be compliant with the requirements of the European energy legislation."
Earlier, the Russian side suggested waiving mutual claims in European courts in order to sign a new gas contract from January 1, 2020.
Meanwhile, Naftogaz executive director Yuri Vitrenko admitted in an interview to Ukraine’s News 24 TV channel that the suspension of Russian gas transit via Ukraine will create additional difficulties for Naftogaz and make the gas transit system of Ukraine commercially unfeasible.
"As we understand, investors will not rush to invest into non-commercial businesses," he said. "Therefore, a question will arise on at least how to ensure [the system's] operations at least without losses."
As possible alternatives, Vitrenko suggested using Ukraine’s gas transit system for storing hydrogen for European nations who use it in their alternative energy projects, or to transit gas from Romania to Slovakia and Poland.
He, however, admitted that possible incomes from both variants cannot be compared with profits generated by the transit of Europe-bound Russian gas.
"In the near future, those alternative ways of using the gas transit system won’t be able to generate the incomes that we receive now, when the transit is taking place," he said.
The current 10-year contract for the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine expires at the end of this year. By this time, Russia plans to launch two gas pipelines bypassing Ukraine - the Nord Stream 2 and the TurkStream.
Another round of trilateral consultations on gas between Russia, the European Union, and Ukraine was held in Brussels on Monday. The next round of the tree-way talks is expected to be held in late November.