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FSUOGM: Is this the last year of Russian gas transit via Ukraine?

Repeatedly, Ukraine has insisted it has no intention of renewing its gas transit contract with Russia that is due to expire at the end of this year. If Kyiv refuses to come to the negotiating table, it may have important implications for the European energy market – particularly those countries that are still heavily reliant on Russian gas.

It took great pains for Moscow and Kyiv to reach the current agreement in 2019, with the EU heavily involved in pushing negotiations towards a resolution. And that was before Russia launched its all-out invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. 

Back then, Russia was eager to bypass Ukraine as a route for its gas supplies into Europe altogether. It had hoped the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would be ready by the end of 2019, forgoing the need to enter a new transit deal with Kyiv altogether. But US sanctions prevented Nord Stream 2’s timely completion, bringing construction work by Western contractors to a halt. Russia then had to deploy its own vessels to finish the job.

If you’d like to read more about the key events shaping the former Soviet Union’s oil and gas sector then please click here for NewsBase’s FSU Oil and Gas Monitor.