Ukraine’s gas transmission authority Operator GTS Ukrainy has contested this week’s claims from the Kremlin that Russian gas giant Gazprom is not expected to disconnect more European customers and further reduce its already low gas deliveries to the continent.

In a social network post, Operator GTS executive director Sergey Makogon said that “there are significant risks of a complete suspension of Russian gas transit through Ukraine by the end of this year”.

With Gazprom failing to pump gas to Europe at the contracted daily rate of almost 110 million cubic metres, Makogon estimates that European customers will see an overall shortfall in Russian gas deliveries of 6 billion to 7 billion cubic metres between January and June.

Makogon said that, since May, Gazprom has been using only about 36% of the total booked throughput transit capacity via Ukraine.

Under the five-year contract signed in 2019 with Ukraine, Gazprom had committed to transit at least 40 Bcm of gas per year to European countries in the period between 2021 and 2024.

As soon as Gazprom’s gas transit flows across Ukraine halt competely, there would be a significant risk of the country’s gas trunkline being destroyed by Russian attacks, leaving the operator unable to deliver gas to households during winter, Makogon said.

With Nord Stream 2 subsea gas export pipeline to Germany permanently blocked, and the introduction of Russian sanctions against the Yamal Pipeline to Poland and Germany, Gazprom now has only two pipeline routes to Europe remaining outside Ukraine.

These are the 55 Bcm per annum capacity Nord Stream line to Germany and the TurkStream pipeline that runs across the Black Sea to Turkey and carrys about 16 Bcm per annum of Russian gas to southern Europe.

On Thursday, Russian state news agency Tass quoted Russian President Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson Dmitry Peskov as saying that no new disconnections in Europe are planned.

Gazprom has halted deliveries to some European that did not agree to amended contract terms that called for payments to made in rubles and not euros or US dollars.

However, most customers in Germany and Austria switched to making payments to a Russian authorised bank in Moscow, converting their payments from euros or US dollars into rubles.

“The system is functioning and those [European customers] who receive the gas are working under the new system,” Peskov said.

Since the end of April, Gazprom has halted gas supplies to Denmark’s Orsted and to Shell Energy Europe, as well as to Dutch gas trader GasTerra, along with gas importers in Bulgaria, Poland and Finland for refusing to make payments for Russian gas under the new scheme.