KIEV, January 2. /TASS/. Transit of Russian gas to Europe through the Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (Gas TSO of Ukraine) amounted to 55.8 bln cubic meters in 2020, which is 38% lower than the previous year, press service of the operator reported on Saturday.
"In 2020, Gas TSO of Ukraine allocated 55.8 bln cubic meters of gas in transit to Europe, which is 38% less than in 2019. The volume of gas transported from Europe to Ukraine for the same period amounted to 15.9 bln cubic meters, which is 12% more compared to 2019," the company’s statement said.
The average daily transit volume since the beginning of the year amounted to 153 mln cubic meters per day, and in December it increased to 183 mln cubic meters per day due to additional orders through the auction platforms. At the same time, transit in the western direction amounted to 51.9 bln cubic meters (32% less than in 2019), in particular to Poland - 3.8 bln cubic meters, to Slovakia - 38.5 bln cubic meters, to Hungary - 9.6 bln cubic meters. In the southern direction, transit amounted to 3.9 bln cubic meters, which is 70% less than a year earlier.
The company explained the decrease in the transit of Russian gas to Europe by the launch of new pipelines bypassing Ukraine, as well as a decrease in demand in the European Union and significant reserves of blue fuel in European underground storage facilities.
Gazprom has already fully paid for the entire volume of the ordered capacities under the contract, which includes "take-or-pay" condition, the company added.
In December 2019, Moscow and Kiev agreed to extend transit of Russian gas through Ukrainian territory for the period from 2020 to 2024, with the possibility of extending the agreement for another 10 years. The contract includes transit of 65 bln cubic meters of gas in 2020 and 40 bln cubic meters annually from 2021 to 2024. The transit arrangement assumes "take-or-pay" principle, when a transit fee is charged in the amount of the booked capacity, regardless of the actual pumping volume.