According to Ukrtransgaz, Ukraine's gas transport monopoly, the country's gas imports from Europe have tremendously exceeded Russia's supplies of natural gas to Ukraine over the last six months.
The company's official statement said that since the beginning of this year Ukraine imported 6.9 billion cubic meters of natural gas — 3.1 billion cubic meters more than from Russia. Ukrtransgaz named Slovakia Kiev's biggest European gas importer. For comparison's sake, in 2014 European countries exported about 5.1 billion cubic meters of gas to Ukraine.
Slovakia is currently Ukraine's only gas importer, since Hungary and Poland suspended so-called "reverse" supplies to Kiev earlier this year.
In the beginning of July Ukraine's gas imports from Slovakia amounted to only 13-16 million cubic meters (mcm) per day — down from April's 38 mcm — prompting serious concerns regarding its ability to replenish the country's gas storages in time for winter.
European experts have repeatedly underscored that although reverse flows from the EU offer a significant supply diversification they still fail to meet Ukraine's demand in natural gas.
So far, Kiev has announced it will increase natural gas imports from Europe in August, planning to receive about 40-53 mcm per day to boost injections into its storage. However, energy officials warn that Ukrtransgaz should bolster its energy imports up to 60 mcm to ensure the country will store enough gas before winter.