Kiev, May 17 - Neftegaz.RU. Vladimir Putin wait for personal talks with Ukrainian President-elect Volodymyr Zelensky to discuss the continuation of gas transit via Ukrainian gas transportation system, Ukrinform reported.
"For Ukraine, the loss of transit flow means loss of $3 billion in annual revenues, which is about 3% of GDP. In fact, we may lose the whole growth of the previous year in a year. It is a critically important risk. The talks with Russia are very sluggish. To be more precise, they are not held at all. Russia has officially announced that it will be ready to speak only when a new president officially assumes office, [then] a conversation between Zelensky and Putin will take place," said Andriy Kobolyev, CEO of Naftogaz of Ukraine.
He expects the talks to resume in June. Furthermore, the stance of Germany and the U.S: will be important. "The stance of Germany will be key for these negotiations as it has a direct impact on the launch of the Nord Stream and may demand that Russia sign a new agreement with Ukraine. The US stance on sanctions, whether they will be imposed or not, will be critical also. Recently, a bill was registered [in the U.S. Senate] on the imposition of sanctions over the construction of Nord Stream 2," Kobolyev added.
As the Naftogaz CEO noted, a new lawsuit against Gazprom is another factor influencing the course of negotiations. "I believe that the third factor of influence is our ability to pursue a new lawsuit against Gazprom to get $12 billion compensation for Ukraine if the new treaty is not signed. It will be a compensation for our losses," he said.
Kobolyev noted that all those factors and Ukraine's readiness for the heating season would help to avoid the crisis and facilitate the signing of a new transit contract.