© AP Francisco SecoAfter yesterday’s meeting in Brussels, the prospect of the conclusion of a new transit contract between “Gazprom” and “Naftogaz” seems quite elusive.Despite the fact that the representatives of the Russian company expressed cautious optimism about the outcome of the negotiations, in fact, the points of convergence as there was no and no.
On the contrary, the Ukrainian side is not willing to abandon the practice of blackmail, threatening Russian gas monopoly new lawsuit for $11 billion.
Evaluation another attempt to negotiate was given, and participating in the discussion, the Deputy head of the European Commission for the energy Union maroš Šefčovič, who said that he was “disappointed”. However, his “disappointment” rather into the hands of Moscow, as the European Commission on the negotiations acts as a defender of Ukrainian interests.
“Gazprom” offers Ukraine to extend the current contract, which expires January 1, 2020. And signing a new contract, no matter short term or a period of 10 years, insists “Naftogaz”, he considered possible only in the case of a settlement of litigation between the two companies.
Let me remind you that by decision of the International court of arbitration in Stockholm, the Russian side should pay to the Ukrainian $4,673 billion Amount was less due to the fact that “Gazprom” managed to win another lawsuit, but essentially it does not change.
The National Bank of Ukraine estimated that the Russian company will have to pump through the Ukrainian gas transportation system at least 50 billion cubic meters of gas in 2020.
“We in their assessments start from the contractual obligations, storage capacity, and when will be introduced new pipelines to bypass Ukraine”, — said the Deputy head of the NBU Dmitry Sologub last week.
Besides, “Naftogaz” refuses to extend the old contract because it expects to raise prices for transit of Russian gas to be able to carry out repair and modernization of hydraulic structures. However, this will make Russian gas unprofitable. Fuel prices in European markets are falling due to the fact that the United States is constantly increasing its supplies of LNG.
It is simple and quite rational, far from the policy reasons why the Russian company will never agree with Ukrainian conditions and moreover, will not respond to threats of new lawsuits. The gas Ukraine needs for domestic consumption, it is necessary and the preservation of the transit, which gives the country up to 3% of GDP.
It would seem that alternative routes, albeit with some delay, will be launched. So, “Naftogaz” has to offer more advantageous tariffs to the transmission system continued to work and make a profit. But no, he is doing everything to disrupt the negotiations and to put an end to the new contract.
This strange behavior leads many Russian analysts suggest that the Ukrainian company contrary to the national interests acting on the direct orders of Washington, who didn’t want to compete with the Russian gas in Europe, and, consequently, the Ukrainian GTS it is absolutely useless.
With high probability the contract will not be signed, and January 1, transit through Ukraine will stop. It threatens catastrophic consequences for the country.
First, to maintain it in working condition must be technical gas, which is now insufficient. Secondly, the so-called reverse supplies is all the same Russian fuel, which often do not even leave the Ukrainian territory. It is only on paper changing owners, but in reality collected for delivery to Ukrainian consumers in the country.
Experts say that without saving the transit is impossible to pass through the heating season and to provide fuel to industry.
What is happening really is shaped like deliberate sabotage. So seeming wild assumption that the leadership of “Naftogaz” acting in the interests of a third party, only can somehow explain his global indifference, if not more, to the needs of the people of Ukraine and the Ukrainian economy.
Otherwise, why he would need to bury the very possibility of conclusion of the contract? And accordingly, gas transit and as a final result, the Ukrainian GTS?Andrei Babitsky