(TheConservativeTimes.org) – Ukraine is unlikely to renew a pre-existing deal it has with the Russian gas company Gazprom, which allows Ukraine to export natural gas to the European Union, according to a report by Politico.
The deal, originally signed in 2019, is currently scheduled to run through the end of 2024 and allows Gazprom to export over 40 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year through Ukraine and to the European Union. Kiev earns approximately $7 billion per year from the deal.
Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko said that he believes by next year, the European Union will no longer need Russian gas. He also said that if profits from Gazprom help Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the only thing they should pay in the future are reparations for the war. He said further that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine makes bilateral negotiations impossible.
Despite the land pipeline from Gazprom to Ukraine being one of only two links between Russia and the rest of Europe, it nevertheless accounts for 5% of the world’s natural gas supply, and that’s just a third of pre-war levels.
Alexei Miller, chief of Gazprom, also threatened to stop gas exports to Ukraine if it doesn’t drop its current efforts to seize Russian state assets, which is part of Ukraine’s efforts to enforce a $5 billion award to get back much of the country’s stolen billions after Crimea was annexed by Russia in 2014.
The pipelines currently pumping gas to Ukraine, despite the ongoing war destroying much of the country’s infrastructure, continues to send gas to Western Europe, which ends up predominantly in Italy, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia. While Russian gas is not subject to sanctions, the European Commission plans to end Europe’s reliance on fossil fuels entirely by 2027.
There are, however, concerns that several European countries are not moving fast enough to properly cultivate enough alternative energy sources that could properly fuel their own countries. Regardless, the current war in Ukraine is making negotiations between Russia and the West nearly impossible.
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