Ministry of Energy: Russian gas transit through Ukraine may stop in 2024

Sofiia Telishevska

By the end of 2024, Russia may block one of the last arteries through which Russian gas enters Europe. That is when Ukraineʼs gas supply contract with Gazprom will expire.

This was stated by the Minister of Energy of Ukraine Herman Halushchenko in an interview with the Financial Times newspaper.

"The chances that Kyiv and Moscow will agree to extend the five-year transit contract, first signed in 2019, are small, although the route through Ukraine accounts for almost 5% of all gas imports to Europe," the newspaper writes.

Asked whether Ukraine was ready to renegotiate the deal with Moscow after last yearʼs invasion, Halushchenko told the FT: "I really canʼt imagine how it can be on a bilateral basis," adding that Ukraine was preparing to cut supplies.

The former head of the "HTS Operator" company Serhiy Makohon informed that now 35-37 million cubic meters go through Ukraine in transit from Russia to Europe every day, thatʼs about 13 billion every year. The current transit contract expires in December 2024.

The main recipients of this gas under long-term contracts are Italy, Austria and Slovakia.

"These are not very significant volumes, and besides, Austria is preparing for the fact that gas transit through Ukraine will completely stop at the end of 2024. Italy plans to abandon Russian gas in a year. Slovakia is actively working on alternative gas supplies. The new interconnector with Poland and new contracts will allow the country to survive the next winter without Russian gas," Makohon noted.

According to him, it is worth expecting that gas transit will be stopped after 2024 or even earlier due to the introduction of sanctions by Europe on Russian gas.

"Technically, the GTS was prepared for operation in the reverse mode back in 2019-2022, but it is necessary to think about how to balance the financial condition of the GTS Operator, due to the fact that currently 70-80% of the companyʼs income comes from transit," he said.

This should become the main task for the new management of OGTSU and the new supervisory board.

  • The European Union last year invested heavily in LNG imports and passed regulations to increase storage — to prevent shortages after Russian gas supplies to Europe fell following Russiaʼs invasion of Ukraine.