Putin's promises: Russian roulette?

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At the summit of heads of governments of CIS countries in Yalta the meeting the prime minister - ministers of Russia and Ukraine took place. And on it spoke about gas. I will remind that in the last ten days the probability of a gas question in the agenda of Yalta meeting reminded guessing on camomile petals. To speak about gas or not, will revise contracts or not, whether will document not imposing of penalties or not... Members of a government team made statements which contradicted each other. Having declared finally that our gas contracts are fine, and to speak about gas there is no requirement, Yulia Vladimirovna went to Yalta. After negotiations of two delegations, madam Tymoshenko and her Russian colleague Vladimir Putin made joint statements. Putin reported that Russia intends to listen to a wish of the Ukrainian party and to reduce volumes of supply of gas and not to apply penalties this year, the tariff for gas transit from Russia to Europe on the territory of Ukraine in 2010 will grow by 60%.

Experts make comments.

Mikhail Gonchar, director of power programs of the Nomos Center:


RUSSIA ACHIEVED PREFERENCES FOR THE NUCLEAR REACTORS


I can't consider as a big victory of increase of a tariff for transit of the Russian gas because it will occur against growth of the price of import gas for Ukraine. The increase in the income of NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy at the expense of a tariff is leveled by a gas rise in price. Increase of a tariff for 60% doesn't compensate costs of gas import. Yulia Vladimirovna spoke about additional receipts which will be received by NAK, however didn't tell about its milliard expenses as a result of price increase, especially without that twenty-percentage discount (what, it seems, it was considered for Ukraine in 2009).

In principle everything will depend on as far as it will be possible to persuade to reduce Russia gas volumes by the next year. And there are big doubts. Oral arrangements in Yalta can become Gdansk - 2. In September of this year in Gdansk the oral agreement of prime ministers of Ukraine and Russia concerning non-use of penalties against Ukraine for a gas shortage also was reached. Then too talked, made the corresponding statements, got nasty to the address of the President of Ukraine and parted.And today legal registration of arrangements didn't happen. The Russian side reserves the right to manipulate them. We saw, Gazprom very much rushes to Dmitry Medvedev, complains of life and as a result receives the accurate directive - to carry out contracts (which penalties for a so-called shortage of the volumes of gas provided by agreements provide. - Bus).

In Yalta there were no conceptual changes: levers for a manipulation turn on, the Ukrainian party plays by the rules imposed by Russia. Tymoshenko wasn't succeeded to document the arrangement and to turn political declarations of the Russian colleague into concrete legal documents. But if to present, what Russia will refuse penalties for a gas shortage, there is a question what Putin from Tymoshenko will receive for such complaisance?

There are versions. One of them, the most plausible, looks so. They had two complexes of questions: one, connected with the current gas affairs, and the second - with yaderno - the power sphere. I don't exclude that this pokazushno - propaganda complaisance of the Russian side (it will be possible to speak about final complaisance when it will be issued legally when at the level of Gazprom and Naftogaz volumes of supply of gas the next year will be coordinated, indicative the price level and a tariff) is connected with that instead of the Russian Federation was refused Ukraine from the plans connected with diversification of supply of nuclear fuel in interests of option offered by Russia of construction of plant on uranium enrichment in Angarsk. The Russian Federation held such game: you want concessions concerning gas - buy only Russian reactors, the Russian fuel, and then there will be an ease in the gas sphere. If you want to do the enterprises toplivno - a nuclear cycle with the non Russian participant, to enrich uranium not in Russia - then concessions in the gas sphere won't be.

On a press - conferences in Yalta sounded charges that Yushchenko's requirements to revise gas contracts allegedly are dictated by desire to reproduce mega - corruption schemes in this sphere. I assented to this charge of the Ukrainian prime minister and Putin. But it, holding charge in mega - corruption schemes, obviously dissembles... Because in 2004 of all those schemes it was at the head. And in Yalta the foundation notorious for "Rosukrenergo" was laid on July 28, 2004. Then Yushchenko there wasn't.Another thing is that in 2005-2006 when there was the first gas crisis, Victor Yushchenko, having opportunity to liquidate this scheme in a germ, not only I didn't make it, and even I allowed it to start up metastasises in Ukraine through the Ukrgazenergo enterprise. It allowed it on domestic market of gas and by that selected this market in NAK "Naftogaz".

Therefore here "wall-paper speckled", but in political strategy manipulations the Russian prime minister - more "speckled".

Alexander Gudyma, People's Deputy of Ukraine (BYuT):


GAS WAR FROM RUSSIA GAVE ENORMOUS POSITIVE SHIFTS


Representatives of opposition and the President can criticize Yulia Timoshenko only. Market conditions it not Putin's mood, or Tymoshenko's mood. These are real things which in Ukraine should be introduced long ago. Gas price is defined by a formula. Transit tariff - too.

Increase of a rate of transit with 1,7 to 2,7 dollars for pumping of one thousand cubic meter of gas on 100 km. if Russia transports not less than 100 billions CBM, so that we can receive in addition for transit not less than 1 billion US dollars.

Besides, at us hardly the worst in Europe a situation with energy consumption of production. Now there is an understanding that cheap Russian gas won't be, as, say, in Belarus which gave to Russia the GTS. Consumption by Ukraine of gas is considerably reduced. And not only from - for financial crisis. The Russian gas war in January of this year showed: it is necessary to introduce energy saving technologies that the government actively and did. And if this year we consume about 30 billions cubes of the Russian gas, and 21 - the, it will mean that its consumption will be reduced from 73 billions to about 50. Let partially it occur from - for crisis, but as a whole it is a fantastic step. Big business and medium business, the population, remembering threats from Russia, look for ways - how to replace gas with coal how to develop nuclear power.

The last gas opposition led to enormous positive shifts.

And as for possible increases in expenses of Naftogaz from - for gas price growth, have to remember the such. The most part of debts of NAK is concentrated in the cities of the East and the Center of Ukraine for which all responsibility is born by Party of Regions. It is Kiev, Kharkov, Lugansk, Donetsk, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye.They simply refuse to pay for the consumed gas, understanding that during selective winter Yulia Timoshenko never will go for restriction of a heat supply of these territories. We have 8 - a milliard debt. Therefore the hand which could return Neftegaz losses is necessary strong in good sense of the word. Because these losses aren't predetermined by the objective reasons.

And we will return this money.

As for documents on non-use of penalties, try find such person who would compel Russians not only not to apply penalties, but also to change contract conditions.

Alexander Todiychuk, president of the Kiev international power club:


PUTIN'S PROMISES REMIND THE RUSSIAN ROULETTE


When Yulia Timoshenko says that gas agreements good and they are carried out, it reminds a parable of grapes. The fox who couldn't reach it, said that it simply green. And the prime minister - the minister who can't revise gas agreements, says that they good.

Russia isn't ready to change contracts. We heard statements, and where changes in contracts? A year ago two prime ministers - Tymoshenko and Putin - signed the memorandum that gas issues will be resolved is civilized, and we remember, than it ended in January. Anybody then at all didn't remember that memorandum.

Putin's oral promises remind the Russian roulette: will shoot or won't shoot. That isn't documented, can be always cancelled. This game is dangerous to us.

As for the prices. The Ukrainian party this year suffered losses because almost supply of the Russian gas to EU fell to 30 percent. We received smaller volumes therefore less income was gained by system. To us promised that next year there will be a good loading of GTS, but contracts are signed for ten years. We didn't hear that will be in nine years when Russia tries to put into operation "Northern" and "Youzhny streams".

Therefore I agree with our President who says that it is necessary to record the obligation of the Russian side of rather minimum load of system within its profitability. That is the parties have to define, what volume of pumping of gas will give the minimum profitability of GTS, and to issue the documentary obligation to provide this profitability. And it would be really friendly step.

And today we saw that Putin removes a discount for the gas price, and Ukraine buys gas more expensively, than some EU countries. We heard the oral promise that "everything will be good". And where intergovernmental contract? Everything that occurred in Yalta, is a good show which would have to give to the Ukrainian electorate hope for the positive decision.

Unfortunately, Ukrainians love lie, love sweet fairy tales. I seriously am rather afraid that all heard in Yalta, are fairy tales of the Livadiysky palace.

Masha Mishchenkointerrogated

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