January 20, 2017

French ENGIE on the Ukrainian Gas Market:
a Success or a Trojan Horse?

Bohdan Sokolovskyi

The French company ENGIE signed a contract with the Ukrainian company “Ukrtransgaz” on gas supplies to Ukraine and its storage in Ukrainian underground storage facilities. Since January 1 this year, the company has been importing gas to Ukraine through the border with Poland.

On the one hand, the arrival of a European company in the Ukrainian gas market should be considered a success. In particular, if its example is followed by other European companies, which will supply us with gas of non-Russian origin.

On the other — ENGIE is known for its close cooperation with the Russian “Gazprom”. An evidence of this, in particular, is the constructive meeting of the Chairman of the Board of the Russian “Gazprom” Alexey Miller with Chairman of the Board of Directors of the French company ENGIE Board at the 6th St. Petersburg International Gas Forum on the 4th October, 2016.

Besides, taking into consideration the confidentiality of the contract, gas supplies to Ukraine from Poland, which is not an exporter of gas, makes one think: isn't the gas of Russian origin? If the above-mentioned French company is supplying us with Russian gas, it would be logical to know: at what terms these supplies to Ukraine could be terminated, or other unplanned things could happen? Who can now guarantee that between the Russian company and the French one there is no special arrangement regarding Ukraine?

So, taking into consideration the mentioned above, should the French ENGIE's coming to the Ukrainian gas market be considered a success and a breakthrough, or an arrival of “Trojan horse”. To some extent, this issue could be clarified by studying the contract between the French and the Ukrainian companies. More precisely — if we learn about the realities of the French-Russian relations over Ukraine. But then, both these options are unlikely.

 

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