"Gazprom" leave at border of Ukraine

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The European Parliament approved yesterday so-called "The third power package" - the plan of liberalization of the energy market of Europe. It will completely be coordinated with the Bruxelles declaration on modernization of the Ukrainian GTS which realization can lead to that "Gazprom" should sell gas on border with Ukraine.

The European Parliament at yesterday's meeting in Strasbourg absolute majority approved in the second reading offered by European Commission "Third power package". Now, that rules came into force, it is necessary that they were approved by EU Council of ministers. According to a source in European Commission, the probability of it is rather great - in this case approvals in the third reading any more it isn't required.

"The third package", offered by European Commission in 2007, assumes that the companies - sellers of gas and electricity shouldn't own transport networks as it leads to artificial rise in prices. The small companies - the traders declaring were initiators of requirements that large power concerns interfere with their access to distributive networks. Then the European antimonopoly authorities demanded from the German power companies of RWE and E.ON to sell the distributive networks. But Paris and Berlin acted categorically against, and other EU countries agreed on a compromise - networks and trading structures can remain in property of one owner, but under supervision of the independent regulator.

The document accepted yesterday describes new rules of the game in the European gas market. One of three schemes is provided to each of EU countries on a choice. The first option assumes compulsory division of property of vertically integrated holdings: the energy companies have to sell the transport networks to the independent operator and won't be able to have in him a controlling stake. The second option allows the extracting companies to remain the owner of transport networks. However in this case "the independent operator of system" has to be engaged in management of a network specially created.The third option also assumes preservation of vertically integrated corporations, but their activity will control special "supervisory body". On introduction of these rules 3,5 years are provided to the European countries.

Separately in the document it is stated that these rules have to be applied not only to the European companies, but also to firms from the third countries, working in EU. In "The third package" it is noted that the authorities of each of the European countries can refuse to the company the right of occurrence for its domestic market in two cases: if the company doesn't meet the requirements of division of production and transport or if its emergence in the market can threaten power safety of members of EU. Liberalization planned in EU in Russian "Gazprom" always described almost as accident - the deputy chairman of board of the company Alexander Medvedev said more than once that it will destroy the existing scheme of deliveries. Yesterday in "Gazprom" comments refused.

It is obvious that Ukraine becomes the first place where in practice the new European system will be tested. The Bruxelles declaration on modernization of the Ukrainian GTS, signed by the prime minister Yulia Timoshenko and the head of European Commission José Manuel Barroso, completely answers spirit and a letter "Third package". If GTS is transferred under management to one of the European national operators, opportunity for what is provided in the agreement, "Gazprom" should sell all gas on border of Russia with Ukraine and further it will be able to control its movement any more. "But, whatever the European Parliament or Ukraine, the main issue solved - that Russia will do, - the adviser to the prime minister for power questions Alexander Gudyma notes. - Now Europe has no supplier of gas alternative to "Gazprom"".


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