Azarov: Ukraine can reduce GTS capacity to 50 bcm without support of EU and Russia
It is expensive for Ukraine to maintain the capacity of the Ukrainian gas transport system (GTS) at 150 billion cubic meters per year amid a significant reduction in gas transit, therefore, without the support of Russia and the EU Kyiv can resort to partial conversation of the GTS, Prime Minister Mykola Azarov has said.
"Ukraine cannot bear such huge costs on its own. Perhaps, we should conserve two pipelines and leave 50 billion cubic meters? Let's make a joint decision for the future," he said at the 10th Yalta Annual Meeting on Saturday.
He said that Ukraine is ready for any option, but expects certainty in making a decision.
Azarov recalled that Russia supplies about 150 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Europe every year and that the Ukrainian gas transport system could pump 200 billion cubic meters after modernization.
"However, our pumping volumes almost halved last year. And we are currently operating such a gigantic system at about 60% of its capacity, and these are our costs. The European Commission asked us why we should bear them on our own," he said.
Azarov said that Ukraine had joined the Energy Charter Treaty, hoping that these issues will be resolved together.
"But they are not resolved together," he said.
Azarov said that the situation shows that the EU is struggling to diversify gas supply routes, allowing the emergence of new routes bypassing Ukraine.
"But what's the use of that? Where is reciprocity?" he said.