The EU is fighting to keep gas flowing through Ukraine. The solution is raw material from Azerbaijan?

Luc Williams

The process of discontinuing Russian gas has not been entirely successful in Europe. Several countries, mainly Eastern Europe, continue to receive raw materials through the pipeline running through Ukraine. The agreement covering the organization of transit expires at the end of this year. And with the war raging, most market observers expect that the gas tap will eventually be turned off.

Europe wants to send gas from Azerbaijan via a pipeline through Ukraine

However, according to Bloomberg sources who declined to be named, European representatives and companies are talking to their counterparts in Ukraine about how to keep gas flowing next year. According to some people, one of the options being discussed is for European companies to buy gas from Azerbaijan and route it to Russian pipelines leading to Europe. This solution would allow Europe to avoid the embarrassment of buying Russian gas at a time when it is trying to limit Moscow's revenues.

The idea is gaining momentum as it becomes clear that Ukraine will also support the idea. In 2021, transit revenues were approximately $1 billion, providing key financing for the Ukrainian economy. There are also concerns that unused pipelines could become military targets or fall into disrepair, and putting them back into operation would be very expensive.

Oleksiy Chernyshov, CEO of Ukraine's state-owned Naftogaz, told Bloomberg News that Ukraine has incredible gas transit and storage infrastructure that should be used. At the same time, Chernyshov ruled out any plan involving cooperation with the Russian company Gazprom PJSC. However, according to him, transporting gas from Azerbaijan “may have some future.”

Decisions only at the end of the year

Azerbaijani state-owned energy company Socar did not respond to Bloomberg's requests for comment. The Ministry of Energy in Baku, which has repeatedly sought to increase exports to Europe, could not immediately comment on the situation. Also the Russian government and Gazprom did not respond to Bloomberg's requests for comment.

The talks are at an early stage and people familiar with the matter don't expect a decision until the end of this year, when the transit agreement expires and the European winter heating season begins, adding to the pressure. Many details still need to be worked out and it is unclear whether the deal will be concluded. Developments on the battlefield may also be a factor.


Luc's expertise lies in assisting students from a myriad of disciplines to refine and enhance their thesis work with clarity and impact. His methodical approach and the knack for simplifying complex information make him an invaluable ally for any thesis writer.