"Russian officials did not even come to Brussels for technical preparations for the EU-Ukraine-Russia trilateral meeting in January. They put off the next round for months and did not even confirm they would attend a meeting in September," Kobolyev said in an interview with Handelsblatt.
He doubts that Russia will stick to its promise to German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the continuation of gas transit via Ukraine after the launch of Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.
According to him, Naftogaz has not received any such promises from the Russian side. If the transit is stopped, Ukraine will lose over $3 billion annually, equivalent to 2.5% of GDP, Kobolyev noted.
The Naftogaz CEO also stressed that Gazprom's actions caused a significant depreciation of Ukraine's gas network. "And Russia must pay compensation for that under the existing contract. We have already filed corresponding lawsuits, and if Gazprom does not sign a new transit agreement, we will have good chances of winning," Kobolyev assured, adding he is confident that Russia will pay compensation.
"This is why we block numerous assets of Gazprom in the Netherlands, the UK, Switzerland and elsewhere. Gazprom has just failed to prevent the enforcement of our requirements in the court in Luxembourg. I am convinced that Gazprom will pay," he said. As reported, the contract on transit of Russian gas through the territory of Ukraine ends on December 31, 2019.
Naftogaz planned to propose transporting 60 billion cubic meters of Russia gas annually for ten years at the upcoming talks. According to the company, this proposal was agreed upon with European partners and is based on the European approach to the transit tariff formation.
Meanwhile, Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Alexander Novak announced on July 26 that Russia had offered to extend the current gas transit contract with Ukraine for a year.
The EU-Ukraine-Russia trilateral talks on the new agreement on Russian gas transit are expected to be held in September.