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Medvedchuk: Without Russia, Ukraine may lose its gas transmission network

Viktor Medvedchuk. Photo: zn.ua

Ukraine may lose its transit capacities and the entire gas transmission infrastructure unless it creates a consortium to manage and operate the Ukrainian gas transmission network with participation of Russia, says Viktor Medvedchuk, the Leader of Ukrainian Choice – People’s Right public movement.

The contract on the Russian natural gas supply to Ukraine is expiring on January 19 2019, and Russia has repeatedly said it plans to halt transit of gas via the territory of Ukraine, Medvedchuk says. “In a best-case scenario, Russia will reduce the transit of gas via the territory of Ukraine dramatically. In a worst-case scenario, Russia will refuse to use Ukraine’s gas transmission network,” Medvedchuk says.

He is sure that it will be a true disaster for Ukraine. “With implementation of the Nord Stream, Nord Stream-2, and Turkish Stream, Ukraine may lose its entire transit capacities soon, and the country’s gas transmission network will turn into a pile of metal scrap,” the politician explains.

In case Russia stops transit of gas to Europe via Ukraine, the politician says, our country will lose about $2 billion annually and the cost of the gas transmission system will fall fivefold, according to Naftogaz’s calculations. He thinks it possible to maintain the gas transmission network of Ukraine only if Russia is involved in its management as a supplier, Ukraine as a transiting country and the EU countries as final consumers.

“It is important to motivate Russia to export gas through our pipeline to Europe, Medvedchuk says. To that end, he urges canceling the Supreme Rada-passed amendments dating back to June 18, 2014 to some Ukrainian laws concerning the reform of the management system of Ukraine’s Single Gas Transmission System, to lift the discriminative standard that allows the government to establish an operator of the gas transmission system and potential acquisition of up to 49% stake in it by U.S. and EU investors.

Medvedchuk says this standard is discriminative not only for Russia, but for Ukraine too and “looks to destroy our economy by the West’s order.”

As EADaily reported earlier, Kiev is desperately seeking ways to save the country’s gas transmission network – Naftogaz is intent upon disputing the European Commission’s decision to give Gazprom more access to Opal German pipeline. Refusing from direct import of gas from Russia, Kiev buys the Russian gas from Europe at a price higher by $100.

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