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Monday, January 12, 2009

Ukraine Signs Gas Transit Protocol on Russia’s Terms

Ukraine on Monday signed the trilateral gas transit protocol on terms demanded by Russia, supposedly paving the way for a renewal of Russian gas supplies to the EU.

Earlier, Russia had denied any responsibility for the shutoff, laying the blame on Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the pricing dispute between Ukraine and Russia remains unresolved.

Russia wants Ukraine to pay $450 per thousand cubic meters (mcm) of gas, which it considers the average European rate. Still, Russia pays only $1.6/mcm/100 km for transit, or less than half the average European rate, as comparison shopping suggests.

As of January 2009, the Czech Republic, which currently holds the EU’s rotating presidency, pays $450/mcm, based on a fluctuating rate, Jaroslav Basta, the Czech ambassador to Ukraine, said in an interview with Kommersant.

By contrast, neighboring Slovakia pays $270/mcm but charges upwards of $4/Mcm/100 km for transit, all rates being subject to confidential bilateral agreements.

Ukraine quoted the $270/mcm rate during closed-door gas talks with Russia, ambassador Basta said. “Obviously, the price of gas for Ukraine will have your independence factored into it,” the Czech ambassador added.

In 2008, Ukraine paid $179.5/mcm for Russian gas, charging $1.6/mcm/100 km for transit.

Ukraine transits approximately 80 percent of Russian gas exports to the EU, over a distance of about 1,240 km (770.5 mi).



elmer said...

This is a question I saw over at LR, and I think it is an excellent question, so I am asking it everywhere.

roosha/Gazprom has signed contracts for delivery of gas to Germany, Poland, etc., all over Europe.

What gives roosha/Gazprom the contractual right to simply stop delivering gas to Europe, even if it has a dispute with Ukraine, and even if it thinks that Ukraine has been "stealing" gas?

I think the remedy would be to sue Ukraine, and to prove that Ukraine has been "stealing" gas - rather than simply cutting shipments all over Europe.

Taras said...

In the wake of the gas war, Gazprom sued Naftogaz over what it called “illegal siphoning,” and encouraged Europe to follow suit.

Naftogaz called it “technological needs,” arguing that to transport Russian gas supplies to the EU, it needed to circulate a certain quantity of that gas. These needs would not be acknowledged by Russia until Ukraine signed the trilateral gas transit protocol on Russia’s terms.

But at that point, Gazprom refused to do so and vowed to reduce its daily EU-bound supplies by the quantity of Ukraine’s technological needs.

Once Russia shut off gas supplies altogether — initially denying the act — it became physically impossible for Ukraine to transport the gas that Russia stopped sending. The three sides of the conflict effectively came to a dead end.

Since then, however, the EU, Ukraine and Russia have signed a trilateral gas transit protocol, and Russia has unlocked its gas supplies to the EU.

elmer said...

Well, I was with you until the very last sentence:

"Russia has unlocked its gas supplies to the EU."

More like "roosha suddenly found the need to send only a small volume of gas as a 'test' shipment along the wrong pipelines, and did not bother to coordinate with Ukraine, and now is blaming the US for European gas not reaching Ukraine."

roosha has a KGB psycho thug with a Napoleon complex at its helm - Putin.

Do the rooskies seriously think that anyone believes their sovok-style propaganda and lies?

Taras said...

As of that writing, it appeared that Russia had indeed unlocked them.

Not anymore.