Germany could step up and start supplying excess natural gas to Ukraine should Russian Gas monopoly Gazprom stop deliveries, reports Der Spiegel.
German utility companies RWE and E.on are currently working on plans that could supply Ukraine with weeks’ worth of gas almost immediately.
Frank Dohmen, reporting for Der Spiegel, writes:
In an emergency, the flow through Europe’s pipelines could simply be reversed, with gas getting pumped from German reservoirs through the Czech Republic and Slovakia directly to Ukraine. Following this year’s especially mild winter, Germany’s reservoirs are much fuller than usual. Even long-term deliveries would be conceivable at the moment.
Russia has shut off gas supplies to Ukraine twice since 2006 in attempts to steer Ukrainian politics and Gazprom has threatened to rise prices or shut off gas to Ukraine unless a gas debt is paid.
Ukraine has already signed a preliminary framework agreement with RWE in 2012 making gas deliveries possible. RWE has so far committed to delivering 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year to Ukraine with the aims of filling the country’s reservoirs for next winter.
Although Germany draws around 35% of its natural gas from Russia, RWE receives its natural gas supply from the Netherlands and Norway.
Currently, Ukraine receives over half of all its natural gas reserves from Russia.
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