Ukraine sets new tariffs for Russian gas transit to Europe

KIEV (Reuters) - Ukraine has approved tariffs for Russian gas transit and granted a licence to its new gas pipeline system operator, the necessary steps on the way to complete a new 5-year deal for Russia’s gas supply to Europe, its regulator said on Tuesday.

Ukrainian Energy Minister Oleksiy Orzhel was quoted by RIA news agency as saying that Kiev plans to secure as much as $15 billion from the tariffs over the next five years, on par with its current earnings from the transit of Russian gas.

The country is a key transit route for Russian piped gas exports to Europe and the existing deal between the two post-Soviet countries expires at the end of 2019.

Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission agreed in principal on a new deal last week, with a new contract and other agreements between Russian and Ukrainian system operators due to be signed by Sunday.

The Ukrainian national energy market regulator said that it had approved the tariffs for Russian gas transit at $16.01 a day per 1,000 cubic meters at the border with Russia and at $9.68 a day per 1,000 cubic meters at the border with Slovakia.

The exact amount Russian gas giant Gazprom pays depends on the volume it books for transmission.

Reporting by Natalia Zinets; writing by Anastasia Teterevleva and Natalia Zinets; editing by Louise Heavens, Vladimir Soldatkin and Alexander Smith