Today, Thursday 25 September 2014, Hungary has stopped transporting gas to Ukraine. At 17:55 Kyiv time Ukrainian TSO Ukrtransgaz received an email from the Hungarian TSO FGSZ notifying of a halt of supply at 19:00 for technical reasons “until further notice”.
The halt comes a few days after Gazprom visit and hours before the next round of trilateral Ukraine-Russia-EC negotiations
This decision by the Hungarian authorities follows a meeting between Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban that took place on Monday 22 September 2014. It comes only hours before the next trilateral meeting between Ukraine, Russia and the EC which is due to start on Friday morning in Berlin.
Transit capacity supply halt unexpected and unexplained
Ukrtransgaz has a contract with FGSZ which regulates the flow of gas between Ukraine and Hungary in both directions. The two operators do not have a standard interconnection agreement, although Ukrtransgaz has repeatedly requested to sign one, in accordance with requirements of the Energy Community regulations.
Naftogaz has a supply contract with Western European private companies to supply gas to Ukraine via Hungary. Thursday afternoon, FGSZ stopped supplying these private companies with transit capacity and subsequently, the flow of gas from Hungary to Ukraine ceased. The flow of gas from Ukraine to Hungary has not been affected at present.
FGSZ was not available to provide any additional information about the reasons and the duration of the interruption to either Ukrtransgaz or Naftogaz. According to Naftogaz information, the Western European gas suppliers have not received any plausible explanation of the current situation from FGSZ either.
Naftogaz hopes the unexpected halt will not affect the system stability and commits to being a reliable partner
Naftogaz deeply regrets this decision of FGSZ and calls on its Hungarian partners to respect their contractual obligations and EU legislation. Such a decision goes against the core principles of the European Union single energy market.
Naftogaz calls on the EU to ensure a collective solution to the energy security of Europe and the respect of EU internal rules.
Neither EU countries nor Ukraine should be put under political pressure through energy blackmail.
Naftogaz hopes such a sudden halt will not have any unexpected effects on the Ukrainian transit system stability. This remains to be seen within the next hours. Naftogaz is committed to being a reliable partner and vital transit hub for Russian gas to the EU. In return, Naftogaz expects its European partners and neighbors to respect their contractual obligations, as well as EU legislation.
Public Relations Department NJSC "Naftogaz of Ukraine"