Naftogaz CEO Kobolyev: Putin expects personal talks with Zelensky on gas transit

Naftogaz CEO Kobolyev: Putin expects personal talks with Zelensky on gas transit

The Russian Federation and its president Vladimir Putin wait for personal talks with Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss the continuation of gas transit via Ukrainian gas transportation system.

"For Ukraine, the loss of transit flow means loss of $3 billion in annual revenues, which is about 3% of GDP. In fact, we may lose the whole growth of the previous year in a year. It is a critically important risk. The talks with Russia are very sluggish. To be more precise, they are not held at all. The Russian Federation has officially announced that it will be ready to speak only when a new president officially assumes office, [then] a conversation between Zelensky and Putin will take place," Andriy Kobolyev, the Chief Executive Officer of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine, announced at the Concorde Capital Investment Conference 2019, an Ukrinform correspondent reports.

He expects the talks to resume in June. Furthermore, the stance of Germany and the United States will be important.

"The stance of Germany will be key for these negotiations as it has a direct impact on the launch of the Nord Stream and may demand that Russia sign a new agreement with Ukraine. The US stance on sanctions, whether they will be imposed or not, will be critical also. Recently, a bill was registered [in the U.S. Senate] on the imposition of sanctions over the construction of Nord Stream 2," Kobolyev added.

As the Naftogaz CEO noted, a new lawsuit against Gazprom is another factor influencing the course of negotiations.

"I believe that the third factor of influence is our ability to pursue a new lawsuit against Gazprom to get $12 billion compensation for Ukraine if the new treaty is not signed. It will be a compensation for our losses," he said.

Kobolyev noted that all those factors and Ukraine's readiness for the heating season would help to avoid the crisis and facilitate the signing of a new transit contract.


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