Following the contact by the Ukrainian authorities at the end of the week regarding the situation of the Ukrainian gas system and the gas imports from Russia, Vice-President Šefčovič has reached out to both the Ukrainian and Russian authorities. Over the past days, Vice-President Šefčovič spoke to Ukraine's Prime Minister Groysman, to Naftogaz CEO Kobolev and to Russia's Energy Minister Novak. The conversations focused on Ukraine's concern regarding pressure levels in gas supply from Russia, on gas for the transit to the European Union as well as on the recent decision of the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal.
All existing commitments to supply and transit gas to the EU are being honoured.
Regarding the situation in Ukraine Vice-President Šefčovič has been informed by Naftogaz that today the situation is under control and managed well, following the adoption, by the Ukrainian authorities, of special measures and Naftogaz contracting additional volumes of gas from Poland, hence ensuring stable gas supply for domestic purposes.
The European Commission has involved the European Network forTransmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG) in monitoring and helping resolve the situation.
For his part, the Russian Minister of Energy Mr Novak, gave reassurances that the transit of gas to the EU Member States is not endangered and remains reliable. Regarding the Stockholm Arbitration decision Vice-President Šefčovič has been informed that Gazprom remains set to terminate its contracts with Naftogaz. This procedure may, however, take some time and will not have immediate consequences on the gas flows.
In this context, Vice-President Šefčovič encouraged both sides to engage in seeking a satisfactory solution to this issue: "The European Commission stands ready to engage and mediate in a trilateral process, which in the past proved to be effective in bridging differences between the parties. Due to the complexity and sensitivity of the issue, we will further explore the possibility of such process bilaterally. Both Ukraine and Russia have confirmed their readiness to stay in close contact with the European Commission. I will follow the situation closely in order to ensure that the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine to the EU - as it remains our priority - is safeguarded at all times."
Statement of Vice-President Šefčovič on Russian-Ukrainian natural gas situation in March 2018
Brussels, 2 March 2018