30 June, 2014 19:12 ▪
Expert: more diversions against Ukrainian gas transit system could take place in the next few weeks
“The consideration of Gazprom’s request for an exemption from the Third Energy Package for its Opal pipeline, a branch of Nord Stream on the territory of Germany, should be completed by mid-July,” Mykhailo Honchar says. “Thus, diversionist activities could escalate in Ukraine to damage its gas transit system or overall infrastructure. This would demonstrate to the European Commission that Ukraine is sliding into a chaos and traditional transit pipelines to deliver gas to Europe through Ukraine are no longer reliable.”
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“This could show that there is no politics behind it, just an attempt to guarantee reliable routes bypassing the “instable zone”. Thus, Gazprom expects the EU to be forced to grant the exemption to Opal pipeline. This would open the door to using the full capacity of Nord Stream, i.e. 55bn cu m (compared to the current 20bn cu m),” he adds. "
“Moreover, after such an agreement a positive decision on the construction of South Stream would be possible. So, Russia is likely to try and convince the EU within the next 2-3 weeks. The EU could agree to Russia’s favourable proposals, since it may lack profound understanding of the situation in Ukraine,” Honchar concluded.
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On June 17, an explosion took place on the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhhorod pipeline, around Lokhvytsia County, Poltava Oblast.
Interior Minister Arsen Avakov mentioned of a terrorist act as the most likely scenario, while Premier Arseniy Yatseniuk instructed the agencies and companies in charge to reinforce security of Ukraine’s gas transit system.
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