London — The US and Poland on Sunday signed a preliminary cooperation agreement with Ukraine aimed at providing Kiev with additional energy security and sustained diversification away from Russia.
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A trilateral memorandum of cooperation was signed in Warsaw with the participation of US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, the representative of the Polish government on strategic energy infrastructure, Piotr Naimski, and Oleksandr Danyliuk, the secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council (NSDC).
"A trilateral memorandum of cooperation with our partners -- the US and Poland -- to diversify sources of gas supply and enhance energy security of Ukraine has been signed today," the NSDC said in a statement.
The three sides want US LNG to be supplied into Poland from where it can be piped to Ukraine, offering the former Soviet state a sustainable, diversified supply of gas.
Ukraine has historically been dependent on gas imports from Russia, but suspended direct imports in November 2015. It has since imported gas from Europe to meet its domestic needs.
The agreement signed in Warsaw on Sunday follows a spot gas deal between Poland's PGNiG and its Ukrainian trading partner ERU last week for the supply of regasified US LNG into Ukraine via Poland.
The cargo is expected to arrive in Poland's Swinoujscie terminal at the beginning of November and the regasified volumes will be delivered to Ukraine via the Hermanowice interconnector point on the Ukrainian border before the end of 2019.
According to the memorandum of cooperation, work will continue on a new interconnector to expand the capacity of flows between Poland and Ukraine.
Ukraine, meanwhile, is building additional gas stocks ahead of the upcoming winter season due to concerns of disruption to Russian transit volumes.
The 10-year gas supply and transit agreement between Russia's Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz signed in 2009 expires on December 31, 2019, and there has been no sign to date of the two sides being able to agree new arrangements covering transit from 2020.
-- Stuart Elliott, firstname.lastname@example.org
-- Edited by Alisdair Bowles, email@example.com