A Trilateral Memorandum of Cooperation has been signed between the United States, Ukraine and Poland to diversify sources of gas supply and enhance energy security.
The Memorandum was signed in Warsaw with the participation of Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine Oleksandr Danyliuk, US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry and representative of the Polish government on strategic energy infrastructure Peter Naimsky.
The plan is to enhance security of gas supplies in the region via LNG supplies from the US. Gas will be transported through Polish and Ukrainian infrastructure, to be upgraded and expanded to include a specialized interconnector to unite the gas transport systems of Ukraine and the EU.
Piotr Naimski (Polish representative for energy infrastructure) said Poland’s imports of LNG from the US, via the Baltic Sea terminal at Swinoujscie have jumped in recent years as part of a wider plan to cut reliance on Russian supplies. They plan to send six billion cubic meters of gas to Ukraine starting from 2021 compared to the current capability of 1.5 bcm.
According to Oleksandr Danyliuk: “A memorandum of understanding on trilateral cooperation with our partners – the US and Poland, to diversify sources of gas supply and enhance the energy security of Ukraine has been signed. One of the steps in this direction will be to adjust the supply of liquefied gas through Poland. For this purpose, a specialized interconnector will be built to unite the gas transport systems of Ukraine and the EU.”
This partnership supports Donald Trump’s efforts to boost oil & gas exports to allies and trade partners, as well as offer Europe reliable alternative energy sources to those provided by Russian pipelines.
Currently, more than a third of Russia’s gas exports to the European Union cross Ukraine, which traditionally uses some of the gas pumped by Russia to European consumers for its own needs in eastern and central regions.
However, the Russia-Ukraine gas transit agreement is due to expire in January and Ukrainian energy ties to Moscow are considered uncertain. Furthermore, Poland wishes to decrease reliance on Russian energy, as its long-term deal on gas supplies from Gazprom expires in 2022.
“We’re helping Poland to reduce its dependence on Russian gas,” US energy secretary Rick Perry told a news conference in Warsaw after meeting officials from Poland and Ukraine.
“We will take every effort to diversify gas supplies to Ukraine, which is now completely dependent on Russian deliveries,” said Piotr Naimski.