Ukraine wants to force Russia to send more natural gas through its pipelines than is stipulated in the current contracts.
The European Commission has received a complaint from Ukraine’s state energy giant Naftogaz, alleging that Russia is manipulating the energy markets by refusing to send more gas than it is obliged to, it was reported on Thursday.
According to Kiev, Saint Petersburg’s Gazprom is abusing its dominant position on the European market by artificially sending less of the commodity through Ukrainian pipes, which is supposedly causing an energy crisis. Naftogaz wants Russia to be legally obliged by EU anti-monopoly laws to send significantly more quantities of natural gas through Ukraine, even though Moscow and Kiev agreed to a contract in 2019, and Gazprom has already met its obligations for 2021 in full.
“We have received this complaint, and we will assess it on the basis of our standard procedures. We do not intend to comment further on it at the moment,” European Commission spokeswoman Maria Tsoni told news agency TASS. The body functions as the executive branch of the EU and is responsible for enforcing its laws.
Transiting gas from Russia to Europe is an important part of Ukraine’s economy, and the country receives billions of dollars annually from Russian energy giant Gazprom for the use of its aging facilities, which Moscow constructed during the Soviet period.
In the last few months, officials in the EU have accused Moscow of playing politics with the supply of gas, and some politicians have suggested that Russia is trying to force certification of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline. Other experts have, however, noted that the lack of extra gas transit may be due to Russia prioritizing its storage during the freezing winter months.
On Monday, the gas exchange price in Europe passed the mark of $2,000 per 1,000 cubic meters for the first time in history.
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