According to an official statement by Naftohaz, the Russian side will try to blame the crisis on Ukraine, as was the case in 2006 and 2009. Both Russia's recent public statements and the unwillingness of Gazprom to sign a standard additional agreement with Naftohaz, which the parties have already signed three times, indicate this intention.
"In particular, the agreement stipulates that Gazprom pledges to supply the full volume of prepaid gas, not to apply the disputed take-or-pay principle, not to count prepayment as payment for unauthorized supplies to the occupied territory of Ukraine, as well as to introduce a flexible procedure for Naftohaz to order necessary volume of gas," the statement reads.
"The Ukrainian side is fully aware of the critical importance of EU gas supplies for the energy security of the state as well as the importance of preserving our Western partners' support," Naftohaz CEO Andrii Koboliev said, stressing that Naftohaz has never violated its transit obligations.
"An artificial crisis provoked by Gazprom can be used by Russia to exert pressure on the EU to support the construction of bypass pipelines or termination of the anti-monopoly investigation maintained by the European Commission," Naftohaz concluded.