Tuesday

24th Apr 2018

Ukraine signs gas deal with Slovakia

  • Russia has almost doubled the price of gas in Ukraine (Photo: Naftogaz of Ukraine)

Slovakia is set to pump reserve natural gas to Ukraine in a reverse-flow deal signed on Monday (28 April).

The gas will run through the unused Vojany pipeline on the Slovakian side, managed by Slovak gas pipeline operator EUstream, to Uzhgorod in Ukraine.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

EUstream, along with its Ukraine counterpart Ukrtransgaz, aim to start pumping the gas sometime in autumn. The European Commission says it could amount to around 8 billion cubic metres (bcm) per year.

Despite around two years of negotiations, the move is in part framed by the escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine.

Russia supplied 30 percent of gas to Europe last year, with a significant amount transited through Ukraine.

At the signing ceremony in the Slovak capital Bratislava, EU commission president Jose Barroso, described the deal as one that "contributes to greater energy security in Eastern Europe and the EU as a whole".

Around half of Ukraine's 50 bcm of gas consumed annually is sourced from Russia.

With Monday's agreement, Slovakia becomes the third and largest contributor of reverse-flow gas to Ukraine in the EU after Hungary and Poland.

"Gas via Slovakia will bring a considerable addition to the volumes that Ukraine can already import from Hungary and Poland," noted EU energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger.

Ukraine had stopped the Hungary and Poland imports after Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom slashed prices in December.

The cut was part of a larger $15 billion loan and a 33 percent discount on natural gas offered by Russia to Ukraine's Yanukovich-led government.

The discounted $270 per 1,000 cubic metres price has since almost doubled with flows now picking up again from Hungary and Poland.

Russia cancelled its 2010 Kharkov Agreement after it annexed Crimea.

The agreement had given Ukraine a gas rebate in exchange for hosting Russia's naval fleet in Sevastopol port. Moscow says the port is no longer a part of Ukraine.

Gazprom also issued an ultimatum for Kiev to pay $3.5 billion in unpaid bills by 7 May or risk getting cut off, sparking fears many in Ukraine may be without heating next winter.

Industry sources told Reuters last month that Ukraine has enough gas stored up to last at least four months should Gazprom stop the flows.

At 31 bcm, Ukraine has the largest gas storage capacity volume in Europe with most of the facilities found in the west of the country.

The EU is pushing to increase the volume of Slovak flows.

EUstream, for its part, has not completely ruled out upping the volume by using another larger transit gas pipeline but said it may run into legal problems.

The larger transit line carries Russian gas to the European Union and is partly managed by Gazprom Export.

The Slovak company, which describes itself as the largest single carrier of Russian gas in the European Union, said it would first have to reach an agreement with its Russian counterpart.

EU toes the line on Syria air strikes

EU foreign ministers to back Western air strikes on Syria, the same way they backed the UK over Russia's chemical attack on an ex-spy in Britain.

Analysis

Is Germany more hawkish on Russia?

Germany's socialist foreign minister just said the EU should "step up pressure" on Russia. Merkel aired "political" doubts on a Russian pipeline.

News in Brief

  1. Commission will 'not shy away' from Malta killing repercussions
  2. EU Commission opens probe on Alitalia state loan
  3. Paris suspect given 20-year sentence for Brussels shoot-out
  4. Merkel and Pena Nieto praise EU-Mexico trade agreement
  5. Nahles elected new leader of Germany's SPD
  6. Report: EU budget to refocus on South
  7. Audit office: Brexit 'divorce' bill could be billions higher
  8. MEPs urge better protection for journalists

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Macedonian Human Rights MovementOxford Professor Calls for an End to the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  2. ACCAPeople Who Speak-Up Should Feel Safe to Do So
  3. Mission of China to the EUProgress on China-EU Cooperation
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersWorld's Energy Ministers to Meet in Oresund in May to Discuss Green Energy
  5. ILGA EuropeParabéns! Portugal Votes to Respect the Rights of Trans and Intersex People
  6. Mission of China to the EUJobs, Energy, Steel: Government Work Report Sets China's Targets
  7. Martens CentreJoin Us at NET@WORK2018 Featuring Debates on Migration, Foreign Policy, Populism & Disinformation
  8. European Jewish CongressKantor Center Annual Report on Antisemitism Worldwide - The Year the Mask Came Off
  9. UNICEFCalls for the Protection of Children in the Gaza Strip
  10. Mission of China to the EUForeign Minister Wang Yi Highlights Importance of China-EU Relations
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersImmigration and Integration in the Nordic Region - Getting the Facts Straight
  12. Macedonian Human Rights MovementMacedonians in Bulgaria Demand to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations

Latest News

  1. Hungary activists defiant after 'Soros Mercenaries' attack
  2. European Commission proposes whistleblower protection law
  3. Secrecy of VW fraud report 'unacceptable', says MEP
  4. 'Strong suspicion' of corruption in Council of Europe assembly
  5. France tightens immigration law, sparking division
  6. ECJ ruling set to end 10-year 'mouth tobacco' lobbying saga
  7. Whistleblowers, Syria and digital revolution This WEEK
  8. MEP friendship groups offer 'backdoor' for pariah regimes