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Ukraine considering transiting gas from Azerbaijan to EU, Zelensky says

by Elsa Court and The Kyiv Independent news desk July 4, 2024 6:12 PM 2 min read
Gas pipes and compressor machinery at the Dashava underground gas storage facility in Lviv Oblast on May 28, 2015. (Vincent Mundy/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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Kyiv is in talks to transit gas from Azerbaijan to the EU after the contract to transit Russian gas expires in December 2024, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with Bloomberg on July 3.

Kyiv and the EU have said they would not seek the prolongation of the transit deal for Russian gas at the end of the year. The deal was signed in 2019.

Energy Minister Herman Halushchenko told Bloomberg in March that he does not "see the possibility" that Russian gas would continue to flow through Ukraine after December.

"Alternative steps are being considered now on how we can use the pipeline with another gas supplier, another country. Negotiations are underway," Zelensky told Bloomberg.

"We don't want to extend the gas contract with the Russian Federation. We don’t want them making money here," he added.

Transiting gas from Azerbaijan instead is "one of the proposals," Zelensky said.

According to Bloomberg, Ukraine earned around $1 billion from transit revenue in 2021, and therefore continuing to use the extensive system of pipelines "would help provide crucial funding for the war-torn economy."

Despite efforts by European countries to reduce dependency on Russia's gas, Russian supplies remain an important part of the EU's imports.

Russia cut much of its pipeline gas transit to Europe in 2022, but countries like Austria, Hungary, and Slovakia remain heavily reliant on Russian imports.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen signed a deal with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku in July 2022 to bring imports of Azeri natural gas to "at least" 20 billion cubic meters annually by 2027.

Ukraine imports more electricity in June than in all of 2023
Ukraine imported over 858,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of electricity in June 2024, which is 91% more than the volume imported in May and more than what was imported in the whole of 2023, ExPro Electricity monitoring data showed on July 3.

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