KyivPost

Gazprom stands firm on gas volumes for Ukraine

Print version
Jan. 12, 2012, 2:33 p.m. | Business — by Reuters

Reuters

MOSCOW, Jan 12 (Reuters) - Russian gas exporting monopoly Gazprom said it would not bend to Kyiv's demand to cut the contracted volumes of gas it supplies to Ukraine this year, reiterating on Thursday its stance in negotiations. Energy spats between Moscow and countries such as Ukraine, through which its gas passes to Europe, have led in the past to temporary cuts in gas supplies to the European Union, which is now seeking alternatives to reduce its dependence on Russian gas.

Kiev has asked Gazprom to reduce the volumes of gas it sells to the former Soviet republic, whose gas bill last month amounted to $1 billion, an amount Ukraine's fragile economy can ill afford.

Ukrainian authorities say they will insist on cutting Russian gas imports to 27 billion cubic metres (bcm) this year from an estimated 40 bcm last year. But Gazprom insists this level is too low.

"According to the contract, a change in annual volumes cannot exceed 20 percent. In 2012, as everyone knows, the contractual supply volume stands at 52 bcm and cannot be cut to 27 bcm even in theory," Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said.

Russia and Ukraine have been engaged in months of negotiations on gas prices, which stand at $416 per thousand cubic metres in the first quarter of 2012, according to a Ukrainian government source. Ukraine sees a fairer price at $250.

The ownership of Ukraine's cherished pipeline system, through which Russia used to ship 80 percent of its gas exports to Europe before the launch of the Nord Stream underwater pipeline last November, is also a subject of talks.
The Kyiv Post is hosting comments to foster lively debate. Criticism is fine, but stick to the issues. Comments that include profanity or personal attacks will be removed from the site. If you think that a posted comment violates these standards, please flag it and alert us. We will take steps to block violators.
Anonymous Jan. 12, 2012, 3:51 p.m.    

Yanukovych and Yushenko worked together to destroy Ukraine's economic

stability and undermined Tymoshenko's efforts to make democratic and

transparent economic changes. Tymoshenko remains true to Orange Revolution which is why she is in Jail:

From Zik UA

Thursday

12 january 2012

Gazprom threatens sanction to Ukraine

Moscow’s fifth column in Ukraine’s top leadership

Speaking on the opposition TBi channel, political expert Vitali Portnikov

accused a group of top Ukrainian leaders of collaborating with Russia to

get control over gas pipelines. -AAA+ The group includes Fuel Minister

Boiko, head of SBU Khoroshkovsky, former owner of RosUkrEnergo Firtash

and head of presidential administration Liovochkin, Portnikov said. These

officials were active in the days of RosUkrEnergo, a shady middleman

company which supplied the Russian gas to Ukraine. RosUkrEnergo was owned

by Firtash and Boiko. The company got onto the gas market with the

blessing of ex-Pres Viktor Yushchenko. It was banished from the market by

ex-Premier Yulia Tymoshenko was later reinstated by Viktor Yanukovych.

The ultimate goal of both Moscow and the group is to snatch control over

the Ukraine gas pipelines. Portnikov says the recent developments point

to a corrupt scheme to privatize the pipelines. Fuel Minister Boiko’s

recent statement that Ukraine will buy only 27 bln cu. m. of gas from Russia is fraught with immense risks for Ukraine. Under the existing

contract, Ukraine has to buy 52 bln cu. m. of gas – or pay huge sanctions

if it buys less. As there is no money to pay the sanctions, Portnikov

says, the Russians will demand to be paid with the pipelines

infrastructure. In so doing, the corrupt Ukraine officials will escape

the accusations of a sell-out, with Russia easily winning control over

the pipes in court. Another proof of collaboration of the fifth column

officials with the Kremlin is their reluctance to take Russia to the

international arbitration court like many European companies have

successfully done, to cut the overly high gas price, Vitali Portnikov

argues.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Jan. 12, 2012, 6:47 p.m.    

The Russians are totally unreasonable. They are always working against Ukraine, instead of with it.

{# <-- parent id goes here
Anonymous Jan. 12, 2012, 7:26 p.m.    

Ukraine is not a reliable partner

No one can trust Ukraine

{# <-- parent id goes here

KyivPost

© 1995–2014 Public Media

Web links to Kyiv Post material are allowed provided that they contain a URL hyperlink to the www.kyivpost.com material and a maximum 500-character extract of the story. Otherwise, all materials contained on this site are protected by copyright law and may not be reproduced without the prior written permission of Public Media at news@kyivpost.com
All information of the Interfax-Ukraine news agency placed on this web site is designed for internal use only. Its reproduction or distribution in any form is prohibited without a written permission of Interfax-Ukraine.