Ukraine is doing everything to disrupt the transit of gas for the benefit of the US

Summary

Naftogaz is doing everything to disrupt the talks and to put an end to a new contract.

This strange behaviour forces Russian analysts to suppose that the Ukrainian company is acting against the national interests because of direct instructions from Washington. The latter does not want a competitive European gas market and, therefore, does not need a Ukrainian gas transmission system.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative blaming Ukraine for the disruption of the gas talks between Russia and Ukraine and plans to cut gas transit from Russia to the EU. Mixed in there is another often encountered pro-Kremlin disinformation claim blaming the US for trying to monopolise the EU gas market.

Ukraine has made it clear that it is interested in and ready to continue the transit of gas from Russia to the EU. On 19 September 2019, during the third round of trilateral gas talks between the EU, Ukraine, and Russia, the Ukrainian delegation confirmed its willingness to sign a new contract for the duration of 10 years under the EU law. Ukraine’s Naftogaz handed over a draft interconnection agreement and a draft standard transmission agreement to Gazprom. Naftogaz reaffirmed its willingness to sign a new contract during the fourth round of negotiations held in Brussels on 28 October.

The claim that the U.S. is planning to monopolise the European gas market is an exaggeration. According to Eurostat, Russia was, and remains, the largest supplier of natural gas and petroleum to the EU. Moreover, it has increased its share over the past few years. Whereas in 2017 Russia accounted for 39.3% of all gas imports, in 2018 its share increased to 40.2%. The other large suppliers of natural gas are Norway (35% in 2018), Algeria (11.3%), Qatar (5.8%), and other suppliers – 7.7%. It is the same situation with petroleum where Russia's share is 27.3%; Norway is in second place with 11.2%.

As of 2018-2019, the U.S. is only the third biggest supplier of LNG to Europe with a share of 12.6% of all EU LNG imports. For the U.S., EU is also not the biggest purchaser, since it accounts only for 10% of all U.S. LNG exports. Overall, from August 2018 until April 2019, the EU bought in from the U.S. 10.4 billion cubic metres of gas. To compare, in 2018 Russia’s gas exports to the EU reached 202 bcm which set a record.

publication/media

  • Reported in: Issue 171
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 30/10/2019
  • Language/target audience: Russian
  • Country: Russia, US, Ukraine, EU
  • Keywords: gas, economy
  • Outlet: Ukraina.ru
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