As Russian troops seize the easternmost sections of Ukraine’s natural gas pipeline network, Kyiv is no longer responsible for the stable flow of gas to the EU via its territory, Ukrainian pipeline operator Naftogaz said in a message on its website on May 10.
According to the message, Russia’s Gazprom is now bound to ensure Europe keeps getting the full amount of Russian gas shipments that come across Ukrainian territory – which is around 33% of all the gas EU buys from Moscow.
Naftogaz notified Gazprom of its inability to monitor and control the pipelines at the Sokhranivka and Novopskov nodes, which are located in areas under temporary Russian occupation – and through which flows nearly a third of all Russian natural gas transited via Ukraine.
The operator suggested shifting gas transit towards the Sudzha node, which remains under Ukrainian control.
“The transfer of the transit flow does not require any extra costs from the Russian side, and there are no technical obstacles to such steps; this way Russia would be able to maintain transit through Ukraine and fulfill its obligations to its European partners,” said Naftogaz.
“Currently, Ukraine is able to guarantee the safety of gas transmission only across Ukraine-controlled territory; therefore, we proposed to move the necessary transit volumes to another connection point.”
Naftogaz also claimed that Russian occupation authorities are interfering with the normal operations at the Novopskov node.
“Representatives of the occupation authorities took measures to deprive Ukraine of control and means of communication with Novopskov,” the company’s message reads.
“In addition, representatives of the occupation authorities interfered in the operation of Ukraine’s natural gas pipeline network, including the unauthorized withdrawal of natural gas from the transit flow to Europe.”
“This endangers the stability and safety of the entire gas transmission system of Ukraine.”