Yuriy Vitrenko, head of the Naftogaz board, ruled out the possibility that Ukraine would buy gas from Russia directly. He stated this in an interview with Radio Liberty.
"We do not consider such an option at all, we do not negotiate about it with anyone. We have a very clear position here. Actually, we want Ukraine to start exporting gas, not importing it," Vitrenko noted.
According to him, Ukraine's own gas production is about 20 billion cubic meters per year, while the entire country consumes about 30 billion cubic meters annually. Accordingly, 10 billion cubic meters are imported.
The head of Naftogaz is convinced that in order to change the situation, Ukraine needs to produce more gas than all consumers use, and also to reduce its inefficient consumption.
"For example, one of the largest and most problematic sectors that consumes gas is district heating. Ukraine has the ability to switch district heating from gas as an energy source, for example, to biomass or biogas, respectively," Vitrenko stressed.
Ukraine refused buying Russian gas in 2015, replacing it with reverse gas supplies from Europe.
At the end of December 2019, Russia and Ukraine signed a new agreement on the transit of Russian gas through the Ukrainian GTS. Together with a 5-year transit contract, a protocol on gas cooperation was signed, which provides for the possibility of direct supplies of Russian gas to Ukraine at a discount from the price of the European hub, depending on volumes.
This month, the US and Germany agreed that the transit of Russian gas through Ukrainian territory after 2024 meets the interests of both Ukraine and Europe.
As reported before, head of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), candidate for Chancellor of Germany Armin Laschet warned Russia about sanctions, which might include total closure of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline in case of harm or aggression against Ukraine.