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"The gas will steal". To Europe finally realized that she could face the winter and by whom it was
Material posted: Publication date: 31-08-2014

Ukraine must pay gas debt to Russia. In winter Ukraine can steal transit gas going to Europe, and even completely block the transit. It is obvious to all Russian things that she was warned a long time ago. But this time, they first heard from the lips of the European Commissioner for energy Gunther Oettinger. This marks a turning point in gas negotiations with Ukraine.

"During the long and cold winter Ukraine will not get gas, it will not have enough of its own gas, and then there is a danger that the gas will steal, a danger that on the way from East to West it will just get lost," said on Thursday the European Commissioner for energy and the Deputy head of the European Commission (EC), günther Oettinger.

The likelihood that Russia or Ukraine will block gas, "not zero", also admitted Ettinger. "The situation is serious," stated the Commissioner. So Brussels is developing "scenarios of what could happen in the worst case."

Europe for the first time expressly acknowledged that Ukraine can steal Russian gas on the way to the West, and that it can completely block the transit to Europe.

Russia could also block the transit to Europe, but only after Kiev will begin to steal gas. Moscow about this issue, warned. And the closing of the gate is not a game against the EU, and the right under the contract and forced necessity. Gazprom may supply Ukraine with gas. Moreover, the fact that the theft of Russian gas to Ukraine to Europe will have a shortage of gas among European consumers.

The words of Oettinger also mean that Europe is closer to regret that contacted the Ukraine. "Importantly, Oettinger admitted that Ukraine is stealing gas, although I pretended that this will not happen. I have a feeling that is very close to the point when Europe becomes clear: Ukraine is not the right partner. For the first time, Ettinger actually painted in that the support of Europe Ukraine has created a huge headache Europe itself," ‒ said the newspaper VIEW CEO of national energy security Fund Konstantin Simonov.

Europe understands Russia

Oettinger also expressly acknowledged that Russia "can rightfully expect Kiev to pay gas bills". Earlier, the EC or avoided this issue by the party or recognized Russia's right to receive the payment, but somehow evasive. For example, in early August, offering an interim solution to the gas problem, Oettinger said that he "must include full payment of outstanding invoices". Now the Commissioner spoke very clearly.

He also added that "Ukraine and all other countries may aspire to have fair gas prices formed on the market, but not the political sidelines," reports Bloomberg. A figure that expresses a fair price for gas, he tactfully did not mention, as before. But the undeniable fact that Europe itself now sells Ukraine gas reverse at 370-380 dollars per thousand cubic meters. And in the winter it will sell at least reverse 425 dollars per thousand cubic meters (as in last December). Russia had agreed on a price of $ 385 in early summer.

There is another point, which brings the position of Brussels and Moscow. Ettinger cautioned against expanding sanctions by the West against Russia in the energy sector. "That is exactly the gas sphere is not suitable for this," says the Commissioner. "Otherwise, the losers will be all: both Russia and Ukraine, and the EU," he added.

Europe from the beginning insisted that sanctions should not touch the gas issue in any case. Russia argues in the same vein, it has repeatedly stressed that was and will be a reliable energy supplier to Western Europe. Ukraine has suddenly decided to impose sanctions war just in the gas sector. It Kiev passed a law that gives him the right to unilaterally block the transit of Russian gas to Europe.

"Yatsenyuk (the Prime Minister of Ukraine) is the same man who spoke about the plan of Ukraine in the winter to stop the transit, which caused rigid reaction of the Western partners of Russia and Ukraine, who hastened to draw the attention of the Ukrainian colleagues on the inadmissibility of such statements," – said before the press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov.

"European bureaucrats – people correct and intelligent. They can't directly say "fuck you", they will be ten times to talk about what you need to pay money, ‒ says the newspaper VIEW the member of the Supervisory Board of the Institute of energy strategies (Ukraine) Yuri Korolchuk. ‒ But the correct phrase, unfortunately, will not help to solve the problem".

"Yanukovych is gone, and the problems worsened. Statements by the current Ukrainian government, that they will find a solution, be able to agree, were empty words. They also add to the problems the courts," ‒ says Korolchuk.

At the same time Russia even in such circumstances, is configured to dialogue and to fulfill contracts for the EU. It is not surprising that Brussels stands up to Moscow.

"I'm with the guys from Gazprom communicated, they have an attitude to resolve the issue, they even consider a loan to Naftogaz ready. But I have to agree. Without resolving political issues will not solve the problem. Will raise questions about the laws that were adopted on the rental of the GTS, Naftogaz and the right to block the transit" ‒ says Korolchuk.

Why now

Why Europe waited so long to recognize the obvious, which Russia warned in the spring? Because winter is not far off, and Ukraine began to throw out those surprises that Europeans saw the light.

"The spring of Europe supported Ukraine for political reasons. She believed that Ukraine ‒ a country that is moving in the right direction from the "terrible" of Russia. And if Europe does not want to give direct instructions and, especially, to force Ukraine to sit down at the negotiating table. And now, I think it is clear that Ukraine is very hard for the European history, very expensive and very risky", ‒ says Konstantin Simonov.

"In the spring were very different priorities. Then, it was necessary to put pressure on Russia to support the Ukrainian "democracy". And to receive that Europe like Ukraine seats at the negotiating table under pressure from Russia," continues CEO NESF.

And another important point, which was not in the spring. "Before, the Ukrainians simply naughty, thought Europe. But lately, Ukraine completely gone off the rails. Perhaps the law on sanctions was a turning point. Ukraine no this week passed a law allowing it to unilaterally block the transit of Russian gas to Europe. And Europe panicked," ‒ says Simonov.

In addition, Ukraine has begun to also specify the Europeans, under what scheme it is best to buy gas from Russia. "The idea is to rewrite European contracts for gas to take on the border of Russia and Ukraine, and the rumor is that they will sell the pipe to the Americans. Can you imagine what the model for the Europeans? To buy gas on the border of Russia and Ukraine, with just such a Ukrainian power, and to drive it through the pipe, which belongs to the Americans. All of these risks and are encouraged to hang on Europe itself," ‒ paints a picture of Simonov.

Europe has recognized this, because when the gas crisis will happen, it will have nothing to justify to their constituents. "Right now there is no hot water in Kiev, already want a half months to close schools. The country is preparing for the state of siege. And Europe is well aware that they can actually in spite of the grandmother ears to freeze. Just stupidly cold. This will inevitably mean riots, so of course Poroshenko will start to steal gas", ‒ says Konstantin Simonov.

"But stealing gas is a provable things. There is a gas metering station, you can invite the European observers, and the fact that theft is fixed instantly. In 2009 it was also done, but then managed to be attributed to force majeure, they say, knew nothing. But everything is known in six months. We were warned about all this", ‒ said the interlocutor of the newspaper VIEW. Europe is simply not able to put all the blame on Russia.

Yes and this time stealing gas from the transit pipeline will have a much more serious scale than in 2009. And off transit may not be limited to a few days. Estimated NESF, even with the introduction of all measures save on gas in the best case Ukraine will extend the existing gas reserves in UGS before the new year. After all, the economy also has its limits. "You can't leave the entire city of Kiev without heating in the winter. It will be a technological disaster, the pipes will simply burst," ‒ says Simonov.

"It is already clear that Ukraine is ready to make any sacrifice to bring, there is no one thinks that the country will be. But Europe is not able to afford the same "luxury" ‒ says Simonov.

"Europe took the political responsibility for Ukraine, so, of course, must intervene. The more that suffer it. We will lose money, but they will remain South of Europe without gas. And European bureaucracy will be held accountable. Because they knew about this story for six months. And they did nothing," ‒ says Simonov. And for the game against the "South stream" Brussels will be responsible, when the same Bulgaria, for example, will freeze.

Europe is aware of the trap into which may fall so desperately now trying to bring Ukraine to the negotiating table. And from Ukraine, wrote on the eve of the newspaper VIEW, heard the first more or less reasonable statement. Prodan said that Kiev is ready to buy Russian gas at winter 385 dollars per thousand cubic meters, and in the summer, but for 320 dollars.

"This is at least a glimmer of rationality. 385 dollars is the price that Putin offered a discount in 100 dollars without any obligations. Ukraine earlier said "no" ‒ recalls the expert from the NESF.

However, another question arises, as it is now possible to ensure that Ukraine will pay, given the economy's decline. Not to mention the fact that the price of the summer 320 dollars does not hold water.

Thus, Ukrainian politicians were playing against Russia, that Europe forced themselves openly sided with Moscow in the gas issue. Now the solution or not solution of the gas issue will depend on how much Europe's influence on Kiev politicians.

Olga Samofalova


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