Ukraine’s pipeline company expect to receive $1.3 billion this year to move gas from Ukraine’s Russian border to the EU

. $1 billion of this amount is spent on running the pipeline company — paying 11,000 employees and performing maintenance. Without a long term transit contract after 2024, the pipeline network will only serve 10 bcm of imports and 20 bcm of domestic production. To survive, he said, the company would have to decommission “more than 50%” of current capacity.

“Putin will use weaponized pipeline to blackmail Europe,

” headlines an essay in the Atlantic Council by Inna Sovsun, a Rada member for the Holos party. “By undermining the country’s status as a key transit route to the EU, Moscow will succeed in dramatically reducing Ukraine’s geopolitical importance,” she warns. “This could pave the way for a major escalation in Russia’s ongoing military intervention in Ukraine.”

News that Gazprom spurned Ukraine’s offer pushed Europe gas prices yesterday over $400/1,000 cubic meters, the highest level in over a decade.

 Facing high prices, Ukraine is delaying filling its storage reservoirs for this winter. Ukraine has 16 billion cubic meters in storage, 18% below the level of this time last year, Naftogaz reports. Interfax-Ukraine has warned: “The injection of gas into underground storage facilities is at a minimum, which leaves no doubt that Europe will meet the new winter with half-empty underground storage facilities.”