Kiev, December 6 - Neftegaz.RU. According to Platts, any new deal on direct gas supplies between Russia's Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz will be coordinated with the European Commission, Ukraine's energy minister Oleksiy Orzhel said, which would help to avoid major price swings in the region.
Gazprom wants to resume direct sales to Ukraine - at around 15 Bcm/year - as part of a new deal on transit. Orzhel said Ukraine could consider resuming direct imports as a form of payment of $2.56 billion awarded by the Stockholm arbitration court to Naftogaz in February 2018.
Gazprom has so far refused to pay the award and said any new transit deal was dependent on the claim being dropped.
"There are relevant commitments at the level of arbitration," Orzhel said at a press conference. "As far as it is related to direct [gas] supplies, we will link those supplies directly to the compensation of these debts."
Ukraine suspended direct imports of Russian gas in November 2015, instead focusing on its own production and European gas imports to meet its demand. In 2018, European imports totaled 10.6 Bcm, according to data from grid operator UkrTransGaz.
Orzhel also said the government would seek to replace Andriy Kobolev as head of Naftogaz later this year as part of a plan to reshuffle management at state companies.
"We can say that a political decision was made to replace the management and call open contests at all strategic companies," Orzhel said. "This is not the issue of one particular company or relationship between the minister and any top manager at these companies."