Russia and Ukraine Seek a Contentious New Gas Transit Deal

Sep 13, 2019 | 09:00 GMT

This photo shows the pipeline-laying vessel Castoro 10 working on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

The ship Castoro 10 lays part of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline project off the southeast tip of the island of Rugen.

(STEFAN SAUER/picture alliance via Getty Images)


  • Russia, Ukraine and the European Union have a shared interest in avoiding economic losses by reaching a new deal on gas transit before the current agreement expires.
  • But significant obstacles — including geopolitical competition and the impact of new energy infrastructure in the region — could lead to a delay or impasse in negotiations.
  • If the parties cannot reach an agreement before the current agreement expires Dec. 31, Russian gas deliveries to Europe via Ukraine could well experience interruptions.

Representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the European Union are set to meet Sept. 19 in Brussels to begin negotiations over a new agreement on the transit of Russian gas to Europe through Ukraine. The current agreement, reached in 2009 only after tough negotiations resulting in a temporary cutoff of gas flows to Europe, expires Dec. 31. European and Ukrainian elections delayed the start of the upcoming talks, limiting the amount of time for a new deal to be struck before the old one lapses. Even without the time pressure, these negotiations would have been difficult, meaning talks could hit an impasse, and if they do, natural gas cutoffs could possibly result....

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