KIEV, October 24. /TASS/. Kiev’s offer to increase discounted gas transit is right but belated, Viktor Medvedchuk, leader of the Opposition Platform For Life party, said in an interview posted on the party’s website on Sunday.
"This offer is somewhat belated. Moreover, I think it cannot be negotiated because today Russia is obviously interested in commissioning Nord Stream 2 rather than in increasing gas transit via Ukraine’s gas transport system," he said.
"The fact that today Mr. Zelensky suggested gas pumping via our pipe be increased by 50% is an absolutely right decision. But the question is whom it is addressed to. If it is addressed to Europeans, they cannot do it. If it is addressed to Russians, they should accept it. But I don’t know if the do it or not," he said, adding that Ukraine’s gas transport system may turn into "a museum of metal scrap any minute" and its future depends on talks with the Russian side.
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky told Bloomberg on October 22 that Ukraine offered Russia’s Gazprom and other potential gas suppliers a 50% discount for gas transit to Europe exceeding 40 billion cubic meters a year envisaged by the contract. He said that Ukraine guarantees special anti-crisis transit terms for such supplies. It was confirmed on Sunday by Ukraine’s Naftogaz CEO Yuri Vitrenko.
In late December 2019, Naftogaz and Gazprom signed a five-year gas transit contract under ship or pay terms. Under the contract, the minimal pumping volume is 65 billion cubic meters during the first year and 40 billion cubic meters a year in the following years.