Jul 1, 2020
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“Worst gas partner”: in Slovakia they regretted contacting Ukraine

In Kiev, they decided to stop the recently launched reversal of natural gas from Europe through Slovakia. The official version is the need for “preventive work” in the Ukrainian section of the pipe. But what is most surprising is the estimated period of “repair”: more than two months. The national operator of the GTS of Slovakia has already expressed protest to Ukrainian colleagues. So far, to no avail. About this writes the publication

Shock to Slovak partners

According to industry experts, the deadline announced by Ukrainian "partners" of the Slovak gas operator Eustream is extremely long (from August to early November 2020). There have been no such long stops for repair or maintenance of trunk pipelines for more than fifty years. Modern technology allows scheduled maintenance to be carried out at a faster pace.

However, according to experts who monitor the situation, the reason for the crisis that emerged from nowhere is completely different than voiced in Kiev. Just some of the Ukrainian officials responsible for reversing European gas do not want to fulfill their obligations to Slovak partners.

Moreover, to the displeasure of the Ukrainian side, the real reason for stopping the reverse through Slovakia was unofficially named.

"The nature of the stop"

Slovakia has already stated that due to the unprecedented deadlines for a complete cessation of transit, Eustream representatives are trying to understand the "nature of the incident" and the cause of the "malfunction" of the highway.

As no rational explanation was found, European experts began to suggest that Ukraine had decided, using ordinary blackmail, to force Slovakia to agree to a “virtual reverse” deal that was beneficial for Kiev. In this case, Ukraine will be able to pump out Russian gas directly on its territory, without waiting for the raw materials to leave the country's western customs border.

With cautious assumptions of Slovak experts, Dmitry Marunich, an analyst with the FEB, agrees. In his opinion, there is no other explanation than the desire of Ukraine to force the Slovaks to launch "virtual" theft of Russian gas. After all, this will bring great benefits due to the reduction in the cost of “traveling” fuel throughout the length of the worn-out hydraulic system of Ukraine, and, at the same time, will give Kiev some additional trump cards in relations with Moscow.

Most likely, Slovakia already regretted having contacted Ukraine as a gas transit country. This is the worst possible partner for long-term obligations, the expert concluded.


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