As of 24 January 2015 Ukraine will be able to further increase its gas imports from the European Union (EU) thanks to the increase of transport capacity from the current 31.5 million cubic meters (mcm) per day to approximately 40 mcm per day.
European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič stated: “I welcome these developments because they contribute to safeguarding the security of gas supply. It's an important step on the way to further connect Ukraine to the European Internal Energy Market. The increase of gas transport from the European Union to Ukraine demonstrates our solidarity with our neighboring countries. Energy security in particular in Central East and South East Europe and Ukraine is indivisible and of paramount importance for the European Commission."
Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk commented:
"I appreciate the readiness of Slovakia to increase reverse gas flows between our countries. I count on further steps to unlock the full 100 billion cubic meters (bcm) per year capacity of the interconnector between Ukraine and Slovakia. This solution will be fully in line with the EU’s Third Energy Package and will support European energy security as it is important not only for Ukraine but also for the highly vulnerable states of Southern and Eastern Europe."
An important step towards a closer integration of the Ukrainian gas market was achieved by enabling gas deliveries from EU into the Ukraine in 2014. Slovakia provides major transport capacity to Ukraine through the new Budince interconnection point. Establishment of this vital infrastructure was facilitated by the European Commission as a result of a Memorandum of Understanding signed on 28 April 2014 between the Slovak transmission system operator Eustream and its Ukrainian counterpart Ukrtransgaz. Gas flows from Slovakia commenced on 1 September 2014.
Transport capacities into Ukraine from Poland currently total 4 mcm per day and transport capacities from Hungary equal nearly 16 mcm per day, both on a so-called interruptible basis. Transport capacities from Slovakia are generally fully used. Capacities from Poland have not been used since the beginning of 2015. Gas supplies from Hungary, which stopped on 25 September 2014, were resumed on 10 January and are currently at around 3 mcm per day.
Around 5 bcm of natural gas flowed from the EU to Ukraine in 2014. This has been crucial in supporting Ukraine’s energy security. With the mediation of the European Commission, Ukraine and Russia agreed on the so-called "winter package" on 30 October 2014 which enables Ukraine to purchase gas from Russia under clearly defined conditions.
The European Commission considers the creation of infrastructure and regulatory conditions enabling market-based gas supplies to Ukraine as a strategically important step towards achieving supply security and enabling necessary gas market reforms. One of the political priorities of the Juncker Commission is the building of a resilient Energy Union, and security of energy supply will be one of its central elements.