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The Ukrainian population can expect to have enough gas to make it through winter, says the CEO of Naftogaz. 

The winter is coming soon to Ukraine, and there have been worries that Ukraine doesn’t have enough gas in storage to make it through winter. Yuri Vitrenko, the head of the board of the state-owned Naftogaz, assures that everything is under control, writes Interfax Ukraine

“We face a large-scale task that, despite the gas crisis or even the gas war in Ukraine and Europe, Ukrainian consumers, at least households, budget organizations, and heating companies, are provided with gas,” said Vitrenko. 

He also guarantees that the gas will be at a reasonable price. Ukrainenu recently wrote about how global gas prices have exploded over recent months and how Ukraine is considering putting a price cap on gas to protect consumers from the rising prices. 

In the interview, Vitrenko also told about the corruption taking place under the previous leadership of Naftogaz and said that the company is working to clean up everything. He explained how the prior administration of Naftogaz sold gas to companies for a low price. These private companies would then sell it back more expensive.

“The Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine has finally had the opportunity to look at the margins of all dominant players in this market and determine whether they are abusing their position and to what extent. It is now clear that the wholesale price is the same for everyone,” said Vitrenko and added:

“Why is this important? Last winter, before Kobolev’s (Andriy Kobolyev, former director of Naftogaz) proposal introduced a price scheme, ie a non-market retail price cap for everyone, we discussed with the Antimonopoly Committee possible measures against regional monopolists who supplied gas at prices 30-40 percent higher than Naftogaz,” said Vitrenko and added that the law enforcement agencies are dealing with this now.

Russian volumes decreasing

During the interview with Interfax Ukraine, Vitrenko also spoke about the issue of Russian gas. Ukraine is currently earning money on Russian gas going through Ukraine, but that future is uncertain after Russia completed Nord Stream 2 recently. 

“Some may think that if Putin is allowed to launch PP2 without complying with European legislation, there will be more gas in Europe and, accordingly, lower prices. But this is not a fact, even if Putin had promised so. Because is it possible to trust Putin?” he said. 

“We are interested in the imposition of US sanctions right now. That clear conditions be set for Putin by the United States, the EU, and Germany. He must stop using gas as a weapon; I emphasize, stop because he is doing it now. This is reflected in the fact that this year Gazprom supplies 1.5 times less gas for gas transit to Europe via Ukraine. And that Gazprom refuses to sell gas to European companies on the border of Russia and Ukraine. Gazprom has effectively blocked access to transit to Europe via Ukraine for everyone else. Gas transit from Central Asia is blocked,” Vitrenko said. 

The General Director of GTS Ukraine Operator, Serhiy Makogon, also recently confirmed on Facebook that the Russian gas volumes through Ukraine are down significantly. 

“Gazprom has three times decreased transit by Ukraine in 2021 On January 1, 2020, from 186 million m3 per day to 124 million M3, from September 1, reduced to 109 million М3, and on October 1, after the start of gas supply to Hungary through Turkish and Bulgarian streams – up to 86 million m3, although it pays for 109 million m2,” Makogon wrote.