June 17, 2014

Cooperation on gas with the RF should be stopped immediately

In order to stop sponsoring the aggressor at Ukraine's cost and any speculations of the Kremlin and its allies with gas, it is necessary to immediately stop any economic cooperation with Russia, gas import included.

Firstly, right now (in the spring and summer time of the lowest use of gas) Ukraine has enough of gas of its own production.

Secondly, according to engineers involved in designing and operation of the Ukrainian, Slovak, Polish and Hungarian GTS, by reversing scheme it is technically possible to completely provide Ukraine with gas from western markets. Another issue is that now there is no excess gas in it (in particular, for Ukraine). For it to be there, it is necessary to hold negotiations with suppliers and to contract the appropriate volumes. The price here should not be a priority, because de facto the Russian Federation is at war with Ukraine.

Thirdly, Ukraine is deliberately (in mid-June!) on the verge of preserving the Russian “Gazprom's” monopoly domination at the Ukrainian gas market. We've already lost, at least 2 months: it was unacceptable to negotiate with the aggressor, particularly in its own capital, on the price of gas, on something else, instead of negotiating with other potential gas suppliers on reversal schemes. There can be no cooperation with an aggressor! And those who provide an aggressor with profits, automatically become accomplices with all the attendant legal consequences, criminal prosecution included.

Fourthly, to negotiate with the Russian Federation on gas now makes no sense. If nothing else, the Kremlin has achieved its goal: it has pulled gas out from the general context of bilateral relations; has forced Ukraine, even if partially, to pay unclear debts and thus has made Kyiv recognize the contract of 19 January 2009 on the supply of gas, by which step, in particular, has actually doomed the judicial perspective in the Stockholm arbitration; has left Ukraine in an indeterminate state for gas, which is advantageous for Russia in the context of the situation, when the RF is once again trying to prove to the world that Ukraine has messed up everything and is an unreliable partner.

To bring Ukraine's goodwill and reliability as a partner to the world and, in particular, to the EU, we can transfer the money for doubtful debts for Russian gas imports in those volumes, which we consider reasonable (taking into account, in particular, Russia's having stolen about 140 billion U.S. dollars in 1992, Ukraine's overpayment over the market price for Russian gas since 2009, losses from annexation of the Crimea, and so on) to any third country. For example, to Switzerland. There it could be blocked up, saying that “Gazprom” can get it only when the aggression against Ukraine (the issue of the Crimea included) has stopped. The guarantor of the transaction could be the EU, USA, UK or any other democratic country.

All such operations are possible only under the condition of immediate negotiations with the EC, and, for example, with Switzerland, and with potential gas suppliers and with potential guarantors, and with others involved in this matter!