Meanwhile, Ukraine is considering relinquishing a 50 percent share of its pipelines to Russia for cheaper gas. David Marples looks at the possible political direction Ukraine is headed for in 2012.
As Ukraine’s relationship with the EU continues to flounder over human rights issues, the imprisonment of former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and the lengthy detention of former Interior Minister Yuri Lutsenko, there are signs that the government is prepared to flout existing laws to gain closer association with Gazprom and the customs union of Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan. The consequences could be not only the loss of links with the European Energy Community, but also the undermining of Ukraine’s sovereignty.
On Dec. 4, Russia’s Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov announced that the new gas agreement between the two states would have the status of an international agreement, rather than a business arrangement between the two responsible companies, Gazprom and Naftogaz.