How to return Zaporizhia NPP under Ukraine's control, and what does this have to do with gas transit?

The offer, which provides for the transit of Azeri gas via the territory of Ukraine, may be another scam, somewhat reminiscent of the infamous Firtash scheme with RosUkrEnergo and the so-called Turkmen gas. However, there is a difference — there was a contract for supply to Ukraine, and now, the transit of Azeri gas is offered by Socar. As we know, the current gas transit contract between Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine expires on December 31, 2024.

The idea of ​​the offer to the Ukrainian side, in my opinion, is for Socar to repurchase Russian gas at the Russian-Ukrainian border, and then to transport it via the territory of Ukraine and deliver it to the EU as Azeri gas, earning commissions from Gazprom. In this way, Gazprom will be able to keep almost 50% of the European market that remains after the start of Russia's full-scale aggression. This is critically important for the Russian gas monopoly’s survival in the conditions of the unprecedented crisis of Gazprom.

Today, Azerbaijan has no spare resources for gas transit via the territory of Ukraine, as it produces 36 BCM of commercial gas — 24 billion are exported: 12 out of 24 to the EU, about 10 are consumed by Turkey, about 2 BCM — by Georgia. The rest is consumed by Azerbaijan itself. Azeri gas is transported by TANAP (Trans-Anatolian Gas Pipeline from Azerbaijan through Turkey to Europe — ed.), and then by the Trans-Adriatic Pipeline — to Greece, Albania and Italy. Currently, Azerbaijan has no resources for the transit of gas via the territory of Ukraine. In 2027, Azerbaijan plans to boost gas production, using the Shah Deniz field, to 31 BCM and to increase its deliveries by these routes.

I believe that the following conditions may be the only possible option for consideration of the offer to continue the transit of Russian gas:

  • removal of all Russian terrorist military formations and illegal personnel from the Zaporizhia NPP and its transfer under Ukraine’s full control;
  • application of the EU countries interested in transit via the United Gas Transportation System of Ukraine LLC to the Ukrainian government with a request to continue transit, that is, the initiative must come from the EU countries that have difficulties diversifying gas supplies;
  • transfer of the point of sale to the Russian-Ukrainian border;
  • conclusion of contracts with Gazprom by European companies for supply, and with the United Gas Transportation System of Ukraine — for transit;
  • solving the problem of a technical agreement by employing a European intermediary company;
  • neither the United Gas Transportation System of Ukraine nor any other Ukrainian company should have direct contracts with Gazprom or other companies owned by the Russian state, private Russian companies or Russian citizens.

Volodymyr Omelchenko

Director, Energy Programmes

Born in 1967 in Kyiv

Education: Kyiv Politechnic Institute, Department of Chemical Engineering (1992)

Author of over 50 scientific works and op-ed publications. Took part in development and implementation of international energy projects and scientific research in international energy policy


1992 – 1996 — worked in different positions in the mechanical engineering industry

1997 – 1998 — Head Expert of the Division of Oil, Gas and Petroleum Refining Industry of the Ministry of Economy of Ukraine

1998 – 2003 — Naftohaz Ukrayiny National Joint-Stock Company, in Charge of Oil Transportation Section

2004 – 2007 — Chief Consultant at the National Institute of International Security Problems of Ukraine’s NSDC

since February, 2007 — Leading Expert, Razumkov Centre. Director of Energy Programmes since 2013

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