Ukraine does not plan to extend the current contract with the Gazprom gas company (Russia) for the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine to the European Union or sign a new one. However, the continuation of gas transit through Ukraine's National Gas Transmission System (GTS) is possible at the initiative of the European Union.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced this at a press conference in Kyiv on 4 March, the CFTS portal reports, citing the Interfax Ukraine news agency.

"We certainly do not plan to negotiate with the aggressor country to extend [the gas transit contract] and put our signatures to an agreement, but we have repeatedly held talks with European leaders at the level of the European Commission. If European countries act as a consortium or one of our European partners acts as a transit country for its own gas, we are ready to provide such a service. The initiative here lies with the EU and our European partners," Shmyhal said.

At the same time, according to the prime minister, Ukraine's gas transmission system is ready to function without the transit of Russian natural gas.

Meanwhile, the European Union says it does not intend to negotiate the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine's gas transmission system. According to the European Commission, the goal is to finally end European countries' dependence on Russian gas.

"I made it very clear to our Ukrainian partners that the European Commission will not be involved in [negotiations] with Russia as it was five years ago when a trilateral gas transit agreement was concluded. On the contrary, according to our RePowerEU plan, we should cease using Russian gas by 2027 at the latest. We are working overtime to provide countries with alternative supply routes and alternative suppliers and, at the same time, to support Ukraine and its further integration into the EU energy market," the Ukrinform news agency quoted European Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson as saying in Brussels on 4 March.

"We have successfully completed another heating season, so now it is time to start preparing for the next winter. We will discuss the forecasts for the [dynamics of] the gas market and the impact of the suspension of Russian gas transit through Ukraine," the EU commissioner added.

She expressed hope that EU ministers would be able to agree on the continuation of gas-saving measures and ways to further reduce the volume of Russian LNG (liquefied natural gas) exports to European countries.

The volume of transit of Russian natural gas through the Ukrainian gas transmission system decreased by 5 billion 812.6 million cubic meters or 28.4% to 14 billion 646.6 million cubic meters in 2023, compared with 2022. The gas transit contract with Gazprom expires in December 2024.