KIEV, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – The volume of reverse gas deliveries to Ukraine from the European Union has decreased and Kiev authorities suspect Russian gas giant Gazprom is somehow involved, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said Wednesday.
“Today there is a decrease in the volume of reverse gas. We think this is tied to Gazprom’s activities. You’ve heard those threats that were addressed to European companies that this reversal [of gas] is illegal,” Prodan told journalists.
“Today there is the capability of delivering around 18 million cubic meters of reverse [gas deliveries], but only 7 million [cubic meters] are being delivered daily,” the minister said, adding that the decrease in reverse deliveries began “about two weeks ago.”
Prodan said that he plans on discussing this issue in a meeting with European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger on Thursday.
Last month, Russia President Vladimir Putin said that Russia is ready to reduce its gas supplies to Europe in the event of unlawful reverse gas flow deals with Ukraine. According to Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, no final decision has made on the issue.
European suppliers are unable to provide physical reverse deliveries of gas to Ukraine, according to Miller. He noted that Kiev is trying to dispose of the Russian gas running through Ukrainian pipes at its own discretion. Miller called this scheme “so-called circular reverse or the so-called semi-fraudulent reverse.” The legality of virtual reverse flow is under question, the Gazprom CEO added.
Ukraine’s debt for Russia gas has already reached $5.3 billion. Last month Gazprom cut its supplies to Ukraine and switched to a gas prepayment plan. Kiev responded by saying it could receive up to 20 billion cubic meters in reverse flow from neighboring Slovakia, Poland and Hungary.