September 10, 2015

"Double Standards" towards Russia?

Bohdan Sokolovskyi

Strange as it might seem, but both, the Ukrainian experts and media quite sluggishly have responded to such an important event as the signing of the Agreement on the construction of a new gas pipeline “Northern Stream-2”, which is supposed to transport 55 billion cubic meters a year, between the Russian “Gazprom” and the leading European concerns of Germany, Austria, Great Britain, France and the Netherlands. The signing took place on August 31, 2015 in Vladivostok, at the Eastern Partnership Forum.

Even more surprising is the official Kyiv's silence. Because this means a potentially significant decrease in the volume of transit of Russian gas through Ukrainian territory through the Ukrainian GTS. Moreover, negotiations between the Russian “Gazprom” and German energy company BASF, which were suspended at the end of last year, have been resumed. It looks like the decrease in the volume of Russian gas transit through Ukraine is no longer perceived as a catastrophe. But not during the war! Especially under the acting international sanctions against Russia.

As you know, our state earns about $ 1.5 billion US dollars per year on gas transit. On the one hand, it is quite a considerable profit. On the other — it is not a too critical amount of funds for the state with 45 million population (in fact it is slightly more than $ 33 US dollars per capita). It can be compensated for by the development of other industries. However, losing this sum our state may also lose the problems Russia creates for us every year. And this seems to be more important than profit from the transit of Russian gas?

Among other things, these events may also show the so to speak “double standards” in matters relating to the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Also, do not be naive to believe that these events are not associated with voting for amendments to the Constitution of Ukraine, with a certain decline in militant activity in the Donbas, and other factors, with which directly or indirectly the Kremlin has to do.

In particular, it would be worth to compare the Kremlin's actual losses from international sanctions and the potential profits from the gas trade using the “Northern Stream-2”.

In the words of one already deceased famous politician, it seems that we, Ukrainians, again “have been fooled like kittens”. Or is there something we do not know?