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Gas transport through unbundled Ukrainian TSO starts

Hungarian gas transmission system operator (TSO) FGSZ has started taking deliveries of Russian gas through Ukraineʼs unbundled gas TSO following an agreement reached between Moscow and Kiev, state news wire MTI reports.

"The transit agreement between Russia and Ukraine was signed and the [Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine (GTSOU)] switched to European rules. The gas transport from Russia to the EU through Ukraine started successfully in accordance with the signed agreements and the new regulatory environment on January 1, 2020," FGSZ, a unit of oil and gas company MOL, said on its website.

"There was no disruption in [the] Hungarian transmission system. There are no obstacles for registered shippers to transport between the Hungarian and Ukrainian transmission system, FGSZ...performed its part of the transition tasks smoothly," the TSO added.

The unbundling of Ukraineʼs gas TSO from energy company Naftogaz was finalized on January 1, 2020.

The independent TSO GTSOU announced on Wednesday the continuation of Russian gas transit under a new agreement reached between Russiaʼs Gazprom and NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy in furtherance of the previous ten-year contract, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

"We have transported the first cubic meters of gas to the EU under the new gas contract consistent with European regulations. The gas transmission system is operating normally," GTSOU said on Facebook.

Hungary topped up its gas reserves last year with deliveries from Russia as the year-end deadline for reaching a gas transit agreement between Moscow and Kiev approached.

Hungary expects to start taking delivery of 9.8 billion cubic meters of Russian gas a year - close to the countryʼs total annual gas consumption - through the TurkStream pipeline from 2021, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó said late in December.

The TurkStream pipeline will bring Russian gas to Europe via the Black Sea and Turkey, bypassing Ukraine whose rows with Moscow have in the past resulted in interruptions of gas deliveries to Europe.