Russia can cease gas shipments through Ukrainian pipelines at any moment, and the Ukrainian government has calculated that risk, Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko said in an interview with Forbes Ukraine on Dec. 22.
According to the minister, this is another reason why Ukraine needs continuous gas imports during the heating season, since a certain volume of gas in the pipe will be required to maintain sufficient pressure in the system in case of a transit stop. This volume isn’t large, but necessary, he added.
“Overnight on Feb. 24, i.e. on the first day of the invasion, the Russians doubled transit – to almost the maximum level stipulated in the contract,” Halushchenko said.
“At that time, their logic was obvious: ‘Europeans, don’t interfere. Here’s your gas, and we’ll figure it out ourselves here.’ We’ll see in the near future what Russia’s next actions will be.”
Russia’s mass missile strikes against Ukrainian infrastructure also threatens the transit of Russian gas to Europe, the minister noted.