The fact that Gazprom for the first time ceased to note in its reports the volume of gas supplies to the unrecognized republics of Donbass as supplies to Ukraine, the Kommersant newspaper reported . Since 2015, Gazprom took over the gas supply to the republics “for humanitarian reasons”, supplying fuel in the amount of $ 2.9 billion (12 billion cubic meters of gas), but these volumes were recorded on the account of Naftogaz Ukrainy. The Ukrainian side, of course, refused to pay for these supplies.
This year, the direct contract with Naftogaz has ended and it is no longer possible to keep track of gas in the same way. Gazprom does not explain how the new gas supply scheme to the Donbass is built. Presumably, this happens either through an intermediary or by recording deliveries in the “technological needs” section.
In the first case, the most likely candidate is the Gaz-Alliance structure of the Ukrainian businessman Sergey Kurchenko, who was actively involved in the sale of petroleum products and coal in eastern Ukraine and is not afraid of falling under Western sanctions. If the second option is involved, then the gas consumption under this article within the entire gas transmission system is very large: in 2019, it amounted to 38 billion cubic meters, in 2019 - 40.14 billion cubic meters. The needs of the DPR and LPR make up only 6-7% of these volumes - about 2.7 billion cubic meters last year.
According to finanz.ru, Gazprom was forced to abandon attempts to recover money for Donbass gas from Ukraine due to failures with the Nord Stream 2 project, with the help of which the Russian gas monopolist planned to bypass the territory of Ukraine with a new gas pipe. Faced with the need to conclude a new transit contract in December 2019, Russian officials agreed not to consider the issue of the DNI and LC at the negotiations, in fact recognizing that the financial burden for their supply lies with Gazprom itself.
Officially, the Russian company said that it no longer supplies gas to unrecognized republics, but in fact their supply continues in the shadow mode and in the forced charity regime. However, such "technological losses" are usually taken into account when calculating tariffs for other Russian consumers, whose labor penny now also goes to the aid of Donbass.