The Ukrainian government has ordered the national energy holding Naftogaz Ukrainy to store 17 billion cubic meters of gas underground until November 1, in order to ensure uninterrupted supplies of Russian gas to the E.U.
CEO Andrei Kobolev said earlier that Naftogaz Ukrainy planned to put 14.5 billion cubic meters of gas in storages, while CEO of Russian gas giant Gazprom Alexei Miller expressed concern, saying that this amount would not be enough for a safe gas transit.
Corresponding changes were introduced into the plan of measures to prepare the fuel and energy sector of the country for autumn-winter 2016-2017, signed on July 27. An earlier version of the state document contained no storage amount indications.
Finance Minister Stepan Kubiv said that Ukraine had enough money to ensure this amount of stored gas.
“As regards financing of the gas supplies, we absolutely have it, this issue has been solved in this year’s budget. We have also had a corresponding international donation to buy gas – it amounted to about 10 billion UAH – and therefore we have reserve funds which we can use for this purpose”, he noted.
Ukraine suspended gas purchases from Russia on November 25, 2015 over pricing and political issues but transits Russian gas to Europe under a contract lasting till 2019. (Prime/Business World Magazine)