Ukraine agrees to fill gas storage for smooth transit of Russian gas to Europe

Ukrainian government has given its consent to pump enough gas into its storage facilities to keep up the pressure in order to ensure transportation of Russian gas to Europe in winter.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak was cited by Reuters as saying that Ukraine had agreed to fill the gas storage following discussions between the government of the two countries and the European Commission.

Around 40% of the gas exports for Russia pass through Ukraine.

Ukraine needs to maintain storage capacity of 14 to 19 billion cubic metres (bcm) to ensure smooth transit of Russian gas to Europe.

The European country's Ukrtransgaz maintains 10.27 bcm of gas in its storage tanks as of June 1, reports the news agency.

The countries have also mutually agreed on an outline protocol for the gas trade.

Novak said: "They agreed on some positions of the protocol, including on pumping no less than 19 bcm into the storages before the forthcoming winter."

Ministers from the Russian capital Moscow and Ukrainian capital Kiev have plans to meet later in the month in order to discuss and resolve the key outstanding disagreements.

Talks will also be carried out to decide on the duration of the protocol, the formula applied to discount prices for Ukraine and fees charged by Ukraine for the gas transit over its territory.

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