OREANDA-NEWS. Transit of Russian gas through Ukraine to Slovakia on the first day of the year fell by 41 percent to its lowest in two months. This was reported by Reuters citing Slovak operator Eustream.

The flow of Russian gas through the Velke Kapusany border crossing has fallen by 41%, from 887,094 MWh a day earlier to 524,631 MWh. This is the lowest figure since 2 November, the agency specifies.

Last December, the head of the Ukrainian GTS Operator, Serhiy Makohon, admitted that Russian gas transit through Ukrainian territory would be terminated in winter 2022. According to him, this is a political rather than economic issue due to the fact that Russia intends to increase pressure on Ukraine. "This includes stopping the export of thermal coal to Ukraine from Russia, moving troops to the border, and blocking coal exports from Kazakhstan. Given all these developments, it is not ruled out that gas transit through Ukraine will also be stopped,"- he said.

In mid-November 2021, Gazprom stopped booking additional capacity for natural gas transit through Ukraine and Poland. At that time, the Ukrainian GTS Operator offered at an auction the transit capacity for December in the amount of up to 9.8 million cubic meters per day through the Sudzha station and up to 5.2 million cubic meters per day through the Sohranivka station, but they remained unclaimed.

Since mid-December, Gazprom also reduced the amount of additional capacity reserved for the Yamal-Europe pipeline (which runs through four countries - Russia, Belarus, Poland and Germany), and on December 21, it stopped making capacity reservations altogether. On the same day, gas prices on the ICE European exchange exceeded $2,000 per 1 cubic meter.

According to Dmitry Marinchenko, senior director of Fitch's Natural Resources and Commodities group, the reason for the sharp rise in gas prices in Europe could be a reduction in gas pumping through the Yamal-Europe pipeline, information that Nord Stream 2 may be commissioned only in the second half of 2022 and news about cold weather in Europe.