The Ukrainian gas transmission system can successfully compete with any alternative routes if EU law is applied fairly to Russian Gazprom, Naftogaz of Ukraine NJSC CEO Yuriy Vitrenko stated during a June 17 appearance on Ukrainian TV show Pravo na Vladu (The Right to Power) on 1+1 channel.
“Europe should use the force of existing law to prevent violations by Gazprom. The Russian company has been limiting gas supplies to the European market and abusing its dominance on the European market. We say that we need to combine efforts to force Gazprom to move gas delivery points and unlock gas transit from Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan), either through the European antitrust body or through a new arbitration, or through diplomatic processes,” the Naftogaz CEO comented.
Vitrenko emphasized that Ukraine has introduced European rules in its domestic market and implemented them in contracts with all counterparties, including Gazprom. “The transit contract we signed with Gazprom in 2019 is based on European rules. The introduction of these rules was a very painful and costly process. Our European partners promised that introducing these rules would be beneficial. This contract should enable the moving of gas delivery points. Why has it not been done? Because Gazprom has been abusing its dominance,” he noted.
The Naftogaz CEO added that the Ukrainian GTS could prove its efficiency if there was fair competition on the transit market. “If we look at the map, we’ll see that the shortest gas route from Central Asia goes through Ukraine. We’ll see that many gas fields, many companies producing tens and hundreds of billions of cubic meters, are conveniently located for the Ukrainian GTS. We will offer competitive conditions. We have a powerful gas transmission system and very competitive tariffs,” he stated.
Vitrenko also reminded viewers that the construction of Nord Stream 2 was based on the geopolitical ambitions of the Kremlin rather than free market laws.
“Nord Stream 2 means not just a loss of money for Ukraine. Ukraine’s economic losses are important to our Western partners, but we should also mention even more vital reasons why Nord Stream 2 must be stopped. The security factor is paramount. Without transit, Ukraine is more likely to face full-scale Russian military aggression. This is a threat not only to Ukraine, but to the whole of Europe,” Vitrenko stressed.
The Naftogaz CEO added that Nord Stream 2 has become a symbol of corruption during the construction stage.
“Like many other acts by the Russian Federation, Nord Stream 2 violates European antitrust legislation and other norms. Gazprom has long been abusing its dominance on the European market. When some European politicians do not notice, or choose to turn a blind eye, and then receive highly paid posts in Russia, it is seen as naked corruption in the eyes of Ukrainians and all reasonable people,” he highlighted.
Vitrenko urged the EU and the US to introduce effective sanctions against Nord Stream 2 (including those related to pipeline certification) and eliminate Gazprom’s abuses on the European market.
Integrated Communications Department
NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine