MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The new US sanctions create the risk of weakening the position of Russian energy giant Gazprom in talks with Ukraine on tariffs for gas transit, the Moody's international ratings agency said in a statement Thursday.
"The sanctions law comes as Gazprom’s gas transit agreement with Ukraine expires at the end of 2019, and risks weakening the company’s negotiating power as it looks to strike a new agreement. A weaker negotiating stance could result in Gazprom incurring higher transit expenses because of higher transit fees and/or volumes than its initial estimates," the statement said.
It said Gazprom had earlier this year estimated that with the launch of the North Stream-2 and Turkish Stream gas pipelines, its annual gas transit via Ukraine could go down to 15 billion cubic meters from over 80 billion cubic meters in 2016.
US President Donald Trump in early August signed a law that envisions the expansion of a number of sectoral sanctions against the Russian economy. The law, in particular, says the head of state will be able to impose sanctions on persons investing in the construction of Russian export pipelines more than $5 million per year or $1 million at a time. The law specifies separately that the United States will continue to oppose the Nord Stream-2 project.
In addition, the sanctions law reduces the maximum term for financing Russian banks under US sanctions to 14 days, oil and gas companies — to 60 days (now 30 days and 90 days respectively).