Ukraine is a major transit area for natural gas. Source: GTE
German Firm Begins Gas Reverse Flow to Ukraine
- German energy provider RWE reversed the flow of gas to Ukraine on Tuesday April 15, the company said.
Invoking provisions from a contract it signed with Ukraine in 2012, RWE could provide 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Ukraine. That would equal about on-third of Ukraine's imports of natural gas from Russia.
RWE said it would drawing the natural gas from its overall portfolio of European supplies. RWE acquires some of its natural gas from Russia, but also obtains gas from Norway and the Netherlands.
RWE said it would supply the gas based on European wholesale prices and delivery costs.
Other European countries have discussed reversing the flow of natural gas to Ukraine but had not signed agreements to do so as of April 16.
Russia has said that reverse flows to Ukraine would be illegal and has also said that Ukraine's failure to pay its debt for past natural gas deliveries could lead to curtailment of supplies in the future.
NATO said that it was increasing patrols in the Baltics and deploying more forces on the ground. NATO's north-eastern members are wary of Russia after its annexation of Crimea from Ukraine.
In eastern Ukraine about a half-dozen Ukrainian armored vehicles April 16 rolled through the streets of Sloyansk bearing Russian flags. There were conflicting reports of whether Ukrainian troops had defected, pro-Russian forces had seized the vehicles or if the action was part of a Ukrainian strategy. Read more about the crisis in Ukraine