OREANDA-NEWS Gas transit from Russia to Europe through Ukraine decreased to 69.8 billion cubic meters from January to October 2018, reports "Ukrtransgaz".

The company stressed that this is 7.3% or 5.5 billion cubic meters less than in the same period of 2017. As of October,31 this year, 17.1 billion cubic meters of gas were placed in storage facilities in Ukraine.

At the same time, Ukraine reduced gas imports from Europe by 23% or 2.7 billion cubic meters. "This happened due to a significant supply of gas in the UGS, created at the expense of resources of Naftogaz of Ukraine and other customers before the season", — explained in" Ukrtransgaz".

Commercial Director of Naftogaz group Yuri Vitrenko previously stated that in case of Russia's refusal to transit gas through Ukraine, the losses will amount to about 3% of the country's GDP. He added that this amount is comparable to that which Kiev spends on defense.

As previously reported, in 2017, the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine increased by 13.7% compared to 2016 — up to 93.5 billion cubic meters.

Ukraine has proved that it is an unreliable gas transit country, said the Minister of foreign Affairs of Russia Sergey Lavrov. "Now, when Ukraine has proved its unreliability as a transit country, when the gas transportation system of Ukraine is in a rather alarming state, as you know, our company Gazprom, together with partners from European countries, has built the first branch of the Nord stream, the construction of the Nord stream-2 has already begun," Lavrov said.

Russian-Ukrainian agreements on gas transit through Ukraine expire in 2019. In February 2018, President Vladimir Putin said that Moscow was considering extending Ukrainian transit if it was economically feasible. In April, this possibility was confirmed by the head of Gazprom, Alexei Miller. In July, following a trilateral meeting of the EU, Russia and Ukraine in Berlin on gas transit, European energy Commission President Maros Sefcovic said that Moscow and Kiev recognized the need to develop a new agreement in 2020. In August, at a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel near Berlin, Putin assured her that the transit through Ukraine will be preserved.

Nord Stream-2 is a gas pipeline with a capacity of 55 billion cubic meters per year, which will run from Russia to Germany along the Baltic sea through the jurisdictions of Germany, Finland, Sweden and Denmark. Final building permits have now been obtained from all countries except Denmark. Germany, the main consumer of raw materials through the new gas pipeline, said that it agreed to the project only in case of preservation of alternative transit routes, primarily Ukrainian.