Photo from UNIAN Ukrainian Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection Oleksiy Orzhel says if transit shipments of Russian gas are halted, Ukraine will face a major technical risk, namely the difficulty with pumping gas via its transmission system (GTS) on the coldest days of February-March 2020 due to decreased pressure in the underground storage facilities (USFs). Read alsoUkraine&#39;s energy minister names date for another round of gas talks with EU, Russia "NJSC Naftogaz [of Ukraine] has already conducted stress tests of the gas transmission system, which is the only technical risk that may arise if February and March are cold and we have reduced pressure in our underground storage facilities. It is on the coldest days, during peak loads, that there really may be certain problems to pump [gas via] the entire system," he said at a briefing on December 2. Orzhel hopes Ukraine will smoothly pass the current heating season. At the same time, the minister expressed hope that the parties would sign the relevant gas transit contract. "I&#39;m almost sure that the Russian side is fully interested in signing a [gas] transit agreement so that such a type of fuel as gas does not lose its reputation in Europe and there are uninterrupted [gas] supplies to its countries," he said.