KIEV, Dec. 21 (Xinhua) -- Ukraine's Naftogaz and Russia's Gazprom will sign a new five-year gas transit contract, Ukrainian Energy and Environmental Protection Minister Oleksiy Orzhel said at a briefing in Kiev on Saturday.
Orzhel said Russia and Ukraine signed a protocol late on Friday agreeing on terms for the transit of Russian gas to Europe through Ukraine. The minister shared the detail signed during the trilateral gas talks that took place in Minsk on Dec. 20 with the participation of the European Commission, Ukraine and Russia.
"The contract will be concluded for five years with a possible extension for ten years based on the same conditions," Orzhel said.
According to the minister, the new contract provides for guaranteed minimum transit volumes set at 65 billion cubic meters in 2020 and 40 billion cubic meters in 2021-2024 each.
Ukraine is a key transit route for Russian gas to Europe. The current gas transit contract between Naftogaz and Gazprom that expires on Dec. 31, 2019 had threatened to disrupt supplies to Europe. Ukraine and Russia are expected to sign the contract by the end of 2019.