ZAGREB (Croatia), October 4 (SeeNews) - Russia's Gazprom said it has started supplying Russian gas to Hungary and Croatia via TurkStream pipeline, effectively bypassing Ukraine as a transit country.
“Today, Hungary and Croatia started receiving Russian natural gas via a new route: the gas is supplied by theTurkStream gas pipeline and further across the national gas transmission systems of Bulgaria, Serbia, and Hungary,” Gazprom said in a statement on Friday.
Supplies via this route were made possible thanks to a new gas trunkline built in Hungary by FGSZ Ltd., as well as the completion of expansion of the national gas transmission systems in Bulgaria and Serbia where operators Bulgartransgaz EAD and GASTRANS d.o.o. Novi Sad had brought compressor stations onstream.
TurkStream is an export gas pipeline stretching from Russia to Turkey across the Black Sea. Its design capacity is 31.5 billion cubic meters of gas per year. One leg of TurkStream is intended for delivering gas to consumers in Turkey, while a second one is planned to supply gas to southern and southeastern Europe through Turkish territory, Gazprom added.
The redirecting of Russian gas flows drew fire from Ukrainian gas transmission operator GTS which is going to lose a portion of its revenue generated by gas transportation via Ukrainian territory. On Friday, GTS said in a statement that the transit of natural gas to Hungary through Ukraine was suspended on the morning of October 1 when a contract for the export of 4.5 billion cu m annually to Hungary via TurkStream was signed by Gazprom.
"The monopolisation of gas routes by Gazprom, which we are currently witnessing, raises questions about the fundamental principles of the functioning of EU gas markets - competitiveness and transparency. The strengthening of the dominance of one player and their use of leverage for obvious political purposes against the background of the shocking rise in gas prices in Europe must be stopped," the general director of GTS, Sergei Makogon, said in the statement.
Gazprom signed on September 27 a 15-year agreement for the supply of 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually to Hungary. Gas supplies to Hungary are also carried out under contracts between Gazprom Export and other companies, as well as on the basis of single transactions, Gazprom said at the time.
Serbia and Hungary officially opened a cross-border interconnection allowing natural gas flow through the TurkStream pipeline of Gazprom on October 1. The new gas link will transport up to 8.5 billion cubic meters of gas to Hungary annually, with 32% of the first year’s supply already contracted.
In December 2019, Serbia completed the laying on its territory of about 400 km of pipes of a string of the TurkStream pipeline for the transit of natural gas to Europe from Turkey via Bulgaria, Serbia and Hungary. The country received the first quantities of natural gas through Bulgaria in December 2020.