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Windows to Russia

http://www.kremlin.ru/eng/sdocs/vappears.shtml

This above link is to Medvedev’s Video Blog.

Seems that Obama plans on doing the same thing when he gets in office. The wave of the future, “Presidents with Laptops!”

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

English Text:

DMITRY MEDVEDEV:

Dear friends!

I would like to once again wish you all a Happy New Year!

I hope you had good New Year holidays. Holidays which were quite long this year.

And I would like to talk to you about something that I think is very important. It is related to the development of physical culture and sport in our country.

The thing is that recently quite a few different things aimed at the development of physical culture and sports have been done, done with a view to creating normal conditions for recreation for millions of our citizens. But if we talk very frankly then what has been done remains insufficient. And maybe these New Year’s holidays are a good opportunity to reflect a little on how we should develop physical education in Russia, and on how we should develop sports facilities in our country so that millions of our citizens take part in this normal form of recreation.

As you know, in 2014 the Winter Olympics will take place in our country. Now preparations have swung into full gear, as they say. We are constructing new facilities, creating new sports fields and sports venues. And we are doing all this despite the recent financial situation in the world and in our country, a situation which has, of course, deteriorated quite seriously because of the global financial crisis. But I think that is an area where we have no right to pinch pennies. Ultimately, people’s well-being – what we refer to as the nation’s health — depends on this.

And in this regard I believe that we must all learn how to relax. You know, to speak frankly we did not have the opportunities for such holidays or to develop such a culture during the Soviet period. And when each of us went somewhere abroad, for example, we were surprised to see how well our neighbours can relax. We should try to establish that same culture of leisure, that same culture of sports in our country. So that we can have such great New Year holidays and summer vacations in normal human conditions: engaging in physical exercise, relaxing with our families, and receiving great pleasure from this.

You know, the question of relaxation is always a very personal one. Each of us must decide how we are going to do so. This year I went skiing at Krasnaya Polyana in Sochi. I think that that we have now created perfectly decent, acceptable conditions for this sort of sport, the same conditions that exist in many European countries. I can tell you in all honesty that it gave me great joy, great pleasure to exercise in this way. I really liked it.

Hello,Windows to Russia!

I was drinking my coffee and thinking about the gas issue – Did Ukraine sign yet?

Low and behold: Ukraine has signed the original papers sent to them from Russia and the EU! Now a certified copy is on there way to Russia and then Gazprom can get the gas back on.

What had upset Russia so much about the Ukraine modified version? Two of the points that Ukraine tried to sneak in was,

1. Ukraine had paid all the debts to Gazprom in full.
2. Ukraine had not stolen gas earmarked for Europe.

The flagrant fact is that Ukraine is trying to cover their back side because they have gotten themselves in trouble this time. The addition of these items to an official paper about EU gas was a mockery of the system and Russia has a right to demand that anything to do with who owed what and who stole what, was not the issue at hand.

The issue of who owes who and who stole what, is the issues coming up in the International court systems. That is why you could not have a official document on International level changing the faults and blames.

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

Hello,
Windows to Russia!
Looks like Russia had Ukraine pegged on this signing issue. Ukraine could not sign the document with out changing the wording of the original. Ukraine also wanted statements that said that they never stole gas. Seems that Ukraine is worried about being prosecuted for stolen gas and trying to get Russia to accept the loses and keep going.

Russia’s president said on Sunday a three-party deal to resume Russian natural gas supplies to the EU via Ukraine should not be fulfilled as Kiev had added new conditions to it.

Moscow and Kiev separately signed agreements with the European Union this weekend to set up international monitoring at gas inlets and outlets in both countries. Russia said it had to receive a copy of Ukraine’s monitoring document with the EU to resume supplies.

Ukraine put forward certain demands that run counter to Russia’s position when it signed the monitoring deal with the EU, adding a handwritten note that attached an additional declaration to the document.

“Such conditions make a mockery of common sense and are a violation of agreements we reached earlier,” President Dmitry Medvedev said. “Such actions are meant to thwart the agreement to monitor the gas transits – they are blatantly provocative and destructive.”

“The text, to have it straight, provokes utter astonishment because it partially contains false statements, including a theory that Ukraine has not tapped any gas, and that all Russian gas was transited to Europe, while its other half consists of statements running contrary to the context of the agreement we signed with the European Union,” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a meeting with the president. (Link)

I said in a post that Ukraine Does not Wanna Sign! Well they did “but” played the political games that all countries are so well know for!

“Stupidity and Dumbness” It seems right now that we have allot of this going around from Israel pounding the Gaza into oblivion, America trillions and trillions of dollars in debt, Europe for not stomping Ukraine into submission over the gas deliveries and Ukraine for allowing clan wars amongst the politicians to destroy the countries reputation!

Looks like European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso has failed on the Kiev end?

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

Svet just sent me a link she found to a great video with Ron Paul.


Russia Today had an exclusive interview with Ron Paul. This is a very good interview and he always tells it like it is. It may not be what you want to hear but he says it anyway. He talks about USA involvement in Ukraine and Georgia. He talks about the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine. He talks about the troubles that America has caused all over the world…..

Fantastic interview!

Kyle & Svet

Hello,

Just a few minutes ago: Ukraine has signed a deal allowing international monitors to check the flow of gas through its territory. Earlier on Saturday, representatives of Russia and the EU signed the document. The Czech Prime Minister, Mirek Topolanek, said the agreement clears the way for the resumption of gas supplies to Europe.

Get that gas flow going…..

We all know that Ukraine didn’t just start stealing Russian gas yesterday. It’s something they’ve been doing for many years. Kiev benefit from it and now that monitors are in place, Ukraine will have to work honestly and transparently.

I think that this is going to be hard for Kiev to accept and now the battle of gas price comes to the forefront. Gazprom has ignored the contract and price issue just to get Ukraine to turn the gas back on. Now that monitors are in place, Ukraine can not play games when they haggle over price and past due bills.

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

Ukraine Certificate of Guarantee!

Hello,
Windows to Russia!
President of Russia – Medvedev made a statement last night about Ukraine gas deal and he told the Gazprom bosses it must be in writing. We have lost all trust in Ukraine for any and all adventures.

Today Putin has taken the Presidents lead and pronounced after hearing that the EU has got verbal permission for the set up of observers in Ukraine. “Put it in writing!” said Putin.

The quote of the day once again goes to Putin!

We in America learned along time ago that nothing is true until it is “put in writing.”

So sorry Ukraine after shutting the gas off to Europe, stealing and lying!

“Put it in Writing”

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

Windows to Russia!RBC, 09.01.2009, Kiev 16:58:37.Head of the European group for monitoring naturalWindows to Russia! gas transit, a representative of the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Energy and Transport, Filip Cornelis, has arrived in Ukraine, RBC Ukraine was told by the press secretary of the EC Representative Office in Ukraine, David Stulik. According to him, part of the group of experts is currently holding a meeting in Berlin to determine which sites of the gas pipeline system to visit. The group features representatives of 18 gas companies and four top-ranking European Commission employees.

RBC, 09.01.2009, Kiev 16:44:41.Gazprom representatives have been included in a European Commission group for monitoring gas transit via Ukraine, David Stulik, the press secretary of the EC Representative Office in Ukraine, announced. According to the European Commission, the first group of monitors is already on its way, and should arrive in Kiev around 3 p.m. local time.

RBC, 09.01.2009, Tskhinval 16:31:16.The South Ossetian Defense Ministry has evidence that Georgia is reinforcing its military strength along the republic’s border. According to the republic’s Deputy Defense Minister Ibragim Gasseyev, this morning’s records showed that four armored vehicles and sixteen trucks appeared near the village Mereti in the vicinity of the Prisskiye highlands in the border area. Gasseyev noted that, given twenty persons or more can be in each of the vehicles, Georgia has massed a minimum of 300 troops near Mereti, according to a statement of South Ossetia’s State Information and Press Department. Records show that Georgian military equipment and troops also appeared near the villages Atotsi, Knolevi, and Dvani, Gasseyev added.

RBC, 09.01.2009, Moscow 16:19:17.Disrupting the signing of a protocol on creating a multilateral commission on monitoring gas transit through Ukraine is another step on the part of Kiev aimed at escalating the already critical situation with Russian gas transit to Europe. Hence, because of Ukraine, the mechanism of independent monitoring and control has not been created, Gazprom said in a statement. Meanwhile, Ukraine’s reports that it acknowledges its responsibility for facilitating uninterrupted gas transit along its territory are just high-sounding words having no ground to stand on, Gazprom noted.

RBC, 09.01.2009, Moscow 15:39:53.Speaking about gas supplies to Ukraine proper, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller noted that there was no progress seen in Russian-Ukrainian talks yet. “Although the talks have resumed, my impression is that Ukrainian negotiators have no mandate and no powers whatsoever on setting any price level for 2009 or gas purchase volumes. The talks are practically not going anywhere,” Miller said during a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev today.

RBC, 09.01.2009, Kiev 15:11:03.Mirek Topolanek, prime minister of the Czech Republic which took over the EU presidency on January 1, is expected in Ukraine today to negotiate Russia’s gas transit to the EU countries via Ukraine. “Following a conversation with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin last night, Mirek Topolanek coordinated his today’s visit to Kiev with Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko,” the European Commission reported. The aim of the visit is to discuss the details of work of the EU monitoring group and its access to gas transit facilities in Ukraine, to ensure the soonest resuming of Russia’s gas transit to Europe.”

RBC, 09.01.2009, Moscow 14:59:05.The Russian banking system witnessed a deposit inflow in December 2008, chairman of the Association of Russian Banks (ARB) Garegin Tosunian told the Echo of Moscow radio station. He noted that this was due largely to the population’s expectations. Tosunian elaborated that when people realize that no force majeure is forthcoming, they stop panicking and withdrawing money from bank accounts, as well as converting it into foreign currencies. The ARB chief, however, did not specify by how much bank deposits increased in December 2008.

RBC, 09.01.2009, Moscow 11:55:46.Ukraine must pay the market value for natural gas, while Russia is ready to pay the arm’s length price for transit, as well, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced during a meeting with international reporters. According to Putin, since Ukraine is not honoring its agreements, it should pay the market value. In this case, Russia is prepared to pay $3.4 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas transited through Ukraine. Putin stressed the need to switch to “normal, civilized market relations.” He also said he was perplexed by Ukraine’s statements insisting on receiving gas at prices that are lower than those charged to its neighbors. According to Putin, this is having a direct impact on certain economic sectors of its neighboring countries, making them uncompetitive.

RBC, 09.01.2009, Kiev 13:44:59.Ukraine has agreed that Russians will be in the commission to monitor gas transit via its territory, official spokesman for Naftogaz of Ukraine Valentin Zemlyanskiy said. According to him, European monitors will arrive in Kiev today and will be visiting gas metering stations together with their Russian colleagues.

RBC, 09.01.2009, Moscow 12:40:46.Russia will continue to further assist in expediting the cessation of the military confrontation in and around the Gaza Strip, including as part of the U.N. Security Council’s peacekeeping efforts, as well as through contacts with its international and regional partners, including Israel. As reported by the Russian Foreign Ministry’s information and press department, the Russian presidential envoy to the Middle East and Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Saltanov made a statement to this effect during a meeting with Israel’s First Deputy PM and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni on Thursday.

Hello,Windows to Russia!

Looks like the pressure from Europe has started to have an effect on Ukraine. The EU gas monitors and Russian counterparts have finally been allowed into Ukraine. This has been a big hold up in turning the gas back on.

Russia has said that EU or Ukraine Monitors can check any and all Russian gas lines that they want. Russia has nothing to hide. In fact – Russia welcomes the European Community to keep a close watch on the gas flow. Russia is here to sell gas not play political games with gas, like Ukraine has been doing.

According to Gazprom it will take three days to get all gas back up to full steam. But it will not start flowing again until the EU monitors are in place.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has instructed the Russian energy giant Gazprom on Friday that gas supplies to Ukraine should be resumed only after the necessary documents are signed.

“Of course we are interested in gas transit resumption as soon as possible. But nevertheless I would like you to be guided by my instruction in solving this task: all these actions could be performed only after the documents are signed,” Medvedev said at a meeting with Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller.

“We will never stop the theft by any other means,” the Russian president added. “Unfortunately, [we] have no more trust in the Ukrainian side.” (Link)

Russia is very serious about never trusting Ukraine again over any commercial adventures such as resources. Putin and Medvedev have made it clear on Russian TV that the Ukraine government has lost respect from the Kremlin. The people of Ukraine have suffered enough by the political games that Viktor Yushchenko is playing with the lives of Ukraine people.

Russia has been put between a hard place and a brick! While all that I have seen out of Western press is “Russia is unreliable energy partner”. In fact most articles fail to even mention that Ukraine is the one in control of their own pipelines and also Ukraine not Russia controls what comes out the European side of the pipe lines. Everyone seems to want to express the blame on Russia or at the very least the implication of dirty dealing on Russia.

“A natural gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine flared Tuesday when Ukraine accused the Russian supplier of cutting supplies to Europe, and at least nine countries said their supply from Russia had been cut or reduced. (Link)” This article from CNN just forgot that Ukraine is a transit country and is responsible for the gas distribution across its borders!

“A sharp cut in the supply of Russian gas to Ukraine will affect Europe within hours, Ukraine’s state gas company Naftogaz says. (Link)” A Bulgarian article just expresses the Ukraine side.

“Twelve European countries are now without any gas from Russia after Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic announced this morning that their supplies had halted altogether. Slovakia declared a state of energy emergency.

The three join Bosnia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Hungary, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia and Turkey as the effects of Moscow’s bitter row with Ukraine over gas payments inexorably spreads westwards.

France, Italy and Germany have already reported that their supplies from Russia are markedly down. (Link)” This article from Britain just happens to make sure that we understand that gas comes from Russia and it supplies are affected because of Moscow’s Bitter Row With Ukraine!

I have found hundreds of articles similar to this scenario above.

The headlines should have been reading: Ukraine Steals European Gas Again, Russia Needs Support in Stopping the Theft!

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.


Vladimir Putin: Russia, and the Soviet Union before, has been cooperating with EuropeWindows to Russia! in the gas sphere for decades. The gas transportation system from the former USSR to Western Europe was built in the 1970s. All this time Russian gas companies have been fulfilling their contract obligations on time and without interruption. This happened even during the Cold War and the Cold War crisis. The Soviet and then Russian companies have never allowed a single breakdown. But after the breakup of the Soviet Union some failures took place. It was connected with the emergence of new transit countries, and this is clear to everyone.

I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that during these years Ukraine for example was getting gas much cheaper than market prices. While we were supplying Western Europe with gas for $100, $150, $200 per 1,000 cubic meters, Ukraine received it for $40-50 per 1,000 cubic meters. Thus the Russian Federation has subsidized the Ukrainian economy just in the gas sphere to the tune of about $47 billion. In general, subsidies to former USSR republics in the gas sphere amount to $75 billion. I think you’ll agree that these are huge subsidies and no country would subsidies its partners in such a way.

During the whole of 2008 Gazprom has tried to settle the situation with Ukraine’s gas debt and has given full assistance to its partners in seeking solutions for paying off this debt. A little later I’ll tell you what additional offers we made. In the course of negotiations about the conditions of cooperation in 2009, Gazprom made a series of compromise offers to the Ukrainian side. I would like to draw your attention to the following fact. In previous years we’ve been buying gas ourselves in Middle-Asian countries – in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. We transited this gas through our territory and sold it to Ukraine. That gas was quite a cheap resource. Of course this caused some negative reaction from our Middle Asian partners. To tell you the truth, so far we’ve managed to buy cheap gas there, but from this year it has become impossible. Middle Asian countries have transferred to European pricing in relations with Russia.

I don’t know if it is a commercial secret, but I’ll tell you: it differs in different countries, but the average price of Middle Asian gas for Russia this year is $340 per 1,000 cubic meters. If we calculate the price of gas transport to the Ukrainian border, it’ll be $375 per 1,000 cubic meters. Nevertheless, Gazprom made an extremely favorable offer to its Ukrainian partners. It’s awkward to reveal this price, but I’ll do it as well: $250 per 1,000 cubic meters. It is awkward because consumers in Russia may ask us: why? But Gazprom did it. And what do you think? This offer was turned down, and by the order of President Yushchenko. On January 31 the Ukrainian delegation stopped negotiations and left Moscow.

By the way, on December 30, despite their previous statements about a lack of money to pay off their debt, Ukraine transferred $1,5 billion, but it still owed $614 million for the gas supplied in December. The delegation of Ukraine’s Naftogaz left the negotiations in the evening of January 30 despite the favorable offers we made concerning the price of gas for Ukrainian customers, and that very day they sent Gazprom a notification which said that they were not ready to provide gas transit to Europe.

I have a copy of that written notification. What does it mean? It means that unfortunately from the very beginning our Ukrainian partners were going to blackmail us, and this blackmailing concerned a possible blockade of our gas supplies to European consumers. Of course not having a contract on gas supplies to Ukraine itself by 10:00 of 1 January 2009 Gazprom was forced to stop gas supplies to consumers in Ukraine.

On 2 January “Ukraine’s Naftogaz” officially declared – and we have this document as well – that it was starting to extract 21 million cubic meters of gas from the transit supplies allegedly for technological needs. At the same time the existing contract says that Ukraine must provide the transit system with technological gas from its own reserves. Because of unsanctioned gas extraction Gazprom increased gas supplies to Europe via other countries, in particular via Poland and Belarus, via the “Blue Stream” gas pipeline through Turkey. Gazprom also started to use the gas it had in European gas storage and to buy gas on the free market with its own money to fulfill its contract obligations to its European partners.

We asked our partners to stop stealing and make up for the illegally taken amount. No reaction whatsoever. That’s why we had to cut down the supply by the amount stolen on the territory of Ukraine.

By the way, from 1st to 6th of January, the volume of illegally siphoned gas reached 86 million cubic meters. On the morning of January 6, Ukraine completely stopped gas transit to the Balkans. It was not going in the Balkans direction only. Other customers received gas. Ukraine was still doing the transit.

Statements that Russia halted the gas supply are ridiculous. Then, where did that gas going through the Gas-Transport System, received by other customers, come from? On January 6, in the morning, the following countries stopped receiving any gas at all – Hungary, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Serbia, Slovenia, Slovakia and Romania. Moreover, there was a major decrease in gas supply to France, Austria and Germany. Unfortunately, it didn’t stop there, as you know. At about 7am on January 7, Ukraine closed the last, fourth gas pipe, which carried the transit gas to Europe.

That day, Naftogaz Ukraine changed the work mode of its Gas-Transport System and directed all the Russian gas it received to be used for its own purposes. We had a technical malfunction after what happened on the Ukrainian territory. But afterwards, Russia resumed gas supply into the Gas-Transport System of Ukraine. I have a report here with me, the result of the gas-meter reading inspection made by an independent international organization SGS. You are welcome to look through it as well.

It says here that the work operations after the malfunction were resumed at 12.10. And when we saw that no amount of gas whatsoever was leaving the Ukrainian territory and going to Western Europe, at 17.40 we completely stopped the gas supply to Ukraine, which is also reflected in the report of this independent organization. The pipe was out of operation at 17.40.

As for the gas transit contract: I’ve already mentioned that it was signed in 2006. The additional agreement to it was signed in April 2007. It is valid until December 31, 2010, and is subject to Swedish legislation. Any disagreement should be taken to the arbitration court in Stockholm. In line with this contract, Gazprom has filed a lawsuit to the arbitration court in Stockholm and is requesting that the court issues a freezing order to forbid any actions by Naftogaz Ukraine aimed at reduction of Russian gas transit to Europe in as short a time as possible.

But unfortunately this trial means nothing to our Ukrainian partners, despite the signed documents. Having violated all obligations and international norms they went to the Kiev Economic Court, and this court prohibited the transit of Russian gas through Ukrainian territory. If they keep acting in such a “civilized” way, the order will never be restored.

Of course the most important issue in such conditions is not that of gas supplies, but that of providing gas supply security. Russia realized that such problems may appear long ago and decided to diversify how we supply our energy resources. For this purpose we initiated the construction of north-western pipeline at the bottom of the Baltic Sea and another pipeline which we call “Southern Stream” at the bottom of the Black Sea. That is why we also built the gas pipeline “Blue Stream” to Turkey at the bottom of the Black Sea, by the way now it’s fully loaded, and this eases the problem a little.

I think that the current Ukrainian government is incapable of organizing normal transparent functioning of Ukraine’s economy on a market principles basis. Moreover, their actions damage the prestige of the country and the Ukrainian people. This proves once again that we are witnessing political collapse in Ukraine and unfortunately it proves a high degree of corruption in the government.

I’m looking through West European and North American media, and I’m sorry, I can’t find there an objective picture of what’s taking place. It’s just not there. I’m convinced all of you sitting at this table understand perfectly well what I’m saying. I don’t know what you’re going to write. I don’t know what instructions your bosses will give you. There must be some instructions, obviously, but the picture is far from objective. “Russia Shut Off Supplies”! We didn’t shut off anything! Our gas cannot make it through Ukraine’s territory. Ukraine is not honoring its transit responsibilities, even though it has ratified the Energy Charter. Even though it has signed a transit contract. It refuses to fulfill its obligations, period. It doesn’t want to pay for gas. (Link)


Hello,Windows to Russia!

Looks like the EU pressure and looking like the fool in front of Europe is not having an effect on Ukraine’s stubbornness. When this all started Russia offered Ukraine market rates to transport gas and in fact offered Ukraine an advance on transport rates for next year to help them pay bills. Then Russia had offered a very good price for fuel at $250 per 1000 cubic meters. Ukraine threw a fit and left Moscow for home. Then we all know the story that went from lying to stealing gas. This time the Ukraine child tantrum fit did not work. Russia was not at fault and tried to work with Ukraine even as far as financial help.

Ukraine has not allowed independent observers to its gas measuring stations since January 1, 2008 and now after pressure from Russia and the EU they may have accepted observers back into the country. Russia is overjoyed with the issue of independent observers on the gas. Russia wants Europe to get all the gas they need and Russia does not need a renegade Ukraine playing cowboy all the time over gas. This is a sore spot with Ukraine they do not want observers. (What are they hiding?)

Putin made a statement today: “The market transit [rate] in Europe is $3.4 for 1,000 cu m per 100 km,”and Putin also said: “That Russia is ready to pay a market price for gas transit via Ukraine if Kiev pays a market price for supplies of Russian gas.” Looks like from what Putin is saying, Kiev will not be getting dirt cheap gas anymore, market value for market value.

A fact that many overlooked: Ukrainian authorities closed three pipelines on Tuesday, halting supplies of Russian gas to Hungary, Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, and Bosnia and seriously disrupting supplies to Italy, Poland, France and Slovenia. On Wednesday, the Ukraine closed the other pipeline supplying Austria, the Czech Republic, Romania and Slovakia. Russia was pumping fuel into Ukraine but Ukraine refused to pump it out.

So in the last few days many blogs and news agency’s kept the same old rhetoric up: There is questions from the World about Russia’s ability as a reliable gas supplier.

Hey, “it is not a question of whether Russia is a reliable supplier, but rather, whether Ukraine is a reliable and law-abiding transit partner, which uses Europe’s gas supplies as a pawn in its petty feuds with Moscow, while refusing to pay its debts and expecting special Scott-free prices.” (Link)

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

Hello,Windows to Russia!

It seems that the Bush administration is signing up some last minute surprise issues for Obama. The new administration is going to have a whole slew of interesting promises made to the Eastern world and it is going to take lots of USA money to satisfy these promises.

Seems that everyday a new promise for help or military assistantship comes out of a ex CIS country. No, it is not help from Russia, it is help from the collapsing economy of the USA. As (your and my) tax dollars in the USA go down the giant money hole, the America Government keeps promising and spending untold billions in Ukraine, Georgia and other CIS countries.

The latest and next issue that has come up is the building of a Military base by America in Georgia. Georgia wants to lease land to the US for as long as 90 years and several thousand hectares of land will be allocated – rent-free – Also our buddy Saakashvili has paid US$ 3 million to lobby support for himself from the new Obama – American administration. (We give billions and he gives millions back!) This according to Georgia is in the basket and signed.

Russia has enough to worry about keeping things in line over here. The last thing that Russia needs is a Georgia with a Military base manned by Americans.

I wish that America would keep her tax money back home and help America!

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

January 7, 2009Windows to Russia!
21:00

News: From The Russian President!
A telephone conversation was held between Dmitry Medvedev and Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko.

During the conversation, the President of Russia highlighted the following to the President of Ukraine:

1. The issue of supplying gas to European consumers and gas relations between Russia and Ukraine is not political. For Russia, this is a matter of fulfilment of economic commitments. Unfortunately, this problem has become a pawn in the disagreements within Ukraine’s leadership and its inability to make suitable decisions in the current situation.

2. Russia did not walk away from negotiations with Ukraine, and is ready to resume them at any time. Russia’s President called on Viktor Yushchenko to give his government and Ukraine’s energy authorities the necessary instructions to resolve this issue.

3. In order to resume gas deliveries to Ukrainian consumers, a contract must be signed between OJSC Gazprom and Ukraine’s NJSC Naftogaz. The price of gas must be the market price, corresponding to the prices for gas in Europe, and should be determined by a price formula. There should not be any kind of discount or reduction.

4. The Ukrainian President was asked to note that European consumers did not receive gas supplies transferred over Ukrainian territory, on account of unlawful appropriation of the gas by the Ukrainian side. This situation does not correspond to the agreements currently in place between Russia, Ukraine, and European consumers, as well as other international agreements.

5. The President of Russia noted that the problem of debts has not been remedied. Outstanding debts must be repaid in full by the Ukrainian side, as soon as possible.

6. In order to resume gas deliveries, it is necessary to create a control mechanism that will include representatives from the two gas companies, representatives from energy authorities in Ukraine and Russia, European Union observers, and representatives from international legal firms, to protect the interests of OJSC Gazprom and Ukraine’s NJSC Naftogaz.

The President of Russia called upon Viktor Yushchenko to act swiftly in order to reach the necessary agreements and quickly resume the transfer of Russian gas to European consumers.

The conversation was initiated by the Ukrainian side.

Windows to Russia!RBC, 05.01.2009, Moscow 16:27:38.Some Ukrainian politicians have gone too far inWindows to Russia! their attempts to solve the gas conflict between Russia and Ukraine, Andrei Isayev, chairman of the State Duma committee on social policy and member of United Russia political party, told journalists on Saturday. He pointed out that the conflict does not merely involve certain companies and countries, but it also involved hundreds of citizens of Russia, including pensioners. Isayev indicated that the money Russia lacked as a result of the conflict had been incorporated in the federal budget, and thus the Russians would be affected.

RBC, 05.01.2009, Moscow 14:36:37.Naftogaz of Ukraine has declined Gazprom’s offer to accept additional 15m cubic meters of gas to be transferred daily through the Kobrin natural gas measuring facility in order to ensure the supply of gas to foreign customers. The Russian energy giant’s press office reported about this decision of Naftogaz of Ukraine today. Gazprom, which suspended natural gas supplies to Ukraine on January 1, has announced that Ukraine was siphoning off gas aimed for European consumers. On January 3, Ukraine has admitted to siphoning off 25m cubic meters of gas for technological purposes. Gazprom views such actions as “direct stealing.” Poland, Hungary, Romania and the Balkan States have already suffered because of Ukraine’s actions. Gazprom is planning to file a lawsuit against Naftogaz of Ukraine and force it to ensure uninterrupted natural gas transit to Europe. Furthermore, the Russian holding still calls upon its Ukrainian partners to resume talks on the matter.

RBC, 05.01.2009, Moscow 14:28:29.A Kiev court has made a ruling prohibiting Russian natural gas transit via Ukraine by Naftogaz of Ukraine at $1.6 per 1,000 cubic meters per 100 km in 2009. A relative decision was made following a lawsuit filed by the Fuel and Energy Ministry of Ukraine seeking to consider the existing gas transit agreements with Russia until 2010 void. As a source in the Fuel and Energy Ministry of Ukraine told RBC, the reason for declaring these agreements void was that they were signed by ex-Deputy CEO of Naftogaz of Ukraine Igor Voronin, who didn’t possess of the necessary power of attorney from the Ukrainian cabinet. The investigation into the case was scheduled for January 9, 2009.

RBC, 05.01.2009, Moscow 13:10:15.The latest escalation of military conflict following Israel’s ground assault on the Gaza Strip raises our deepest concerns, Andrei Nesterenko, the official spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, made this statement yesterday. “We have to stop the sufferings among civilians from both sides, put an end to bloodshed and ensure mutual cease-fire. One of the most urgent measures to be taken is to avoid large-scale humanitarian catastrophe in the area, lift blockade and open check-points,” he added.

RBC, 04.01.2009, Moscow 16:30:33.Over the past 24 hours Ukraine has illegally siphoned off 50 million cubic meters of Russian gas meant for Europe, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told reporters today.

RBC, 05.01.2009, Moscow 12:10:17.Georgia and the U.S.A had plans to sign a framework strategic partnership agreement on January 4. The document stipulates for the cooperation between the nations in the security, democratic development, economic and humanitarian spheres.

Hello,
Windows to Russia!
It is real simple: If Russia could bypass Ukraine with gas then Ukraine would toe the line and be a good transit country. But as it is, Ukraine knows that Russia has no other way to get all the gas to Europe and plays games with the pipe transit system.

Russia at this point is being very patient with Ukraine but Ukraine has very short sighted vision. Russia will bypass the Ukraine pipeline before long. Then Ukraine will lose all billions in revenue that Gazprom pays them for being a transit country. Ukraine is a country that is flat busted now and it looks like they will be even more broke in the upcoming years.

My Grandma use to say: “Seems that when people get in a fix that they just dig themselves a deeper hole!” Ukraine is digging a really deep hole right now.

Several European countries have had their deliveries of gas through Ukraine cut off, a situation which the EU describes as “unacceptable”. Gazprom says Ukraine’s energy company has shut off a number of pipelines. (Link)

Russian gas supplies through Ukraine to Turkey have stopped, the Turkish minister of energy and natural resources said on Tuesday.(Link)

Gazprom said it would pump more gas through alternative routes via Belarus and Turkey to ensure European supplies were not affected. (Link)

Seems that Ukraine is unwilling or unable to meet the needs of Europe out of the huge gas reservoir that Gazprom has in Ukraine. Gazprom expects Ukraine to do their job and pump the gas from the storage and send it on to Europe.

We still have no idea if Ukraine has paid any money yet to Gazprom. They say they have but all banks are closed for holidays in Russia and Ukraine. We will not know until the 11th of January. Then if the amount that was paid is really there then that helps but Ukraine still owes almost a billion dollars in penalties and fees…..

Russia has put out the word: They will bypass Ukraine at all costs! Ukraine has lost all trust as a gas transportation country.

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

Hello,
Windows to Russia!
Tonight we are watching a Sherlock Holmes movie that Svet published in the Video blog. It is called: The Hound of the Baskervilles (Собака Баскервилей).

It is a Soviet made movie with English subtitles and is very good. Svet has published several Sherlock Holmes movies from the same series and they are all excellent.

I like to get Svet talking about the Soviet times because she has lots of fond memories of that era. It seems that everything that I was taught in America was dead set wrong. I realize this when I watch a movies and listen to music from the Soviet era. The Soviet Union was culturally very well developed and this has lasted well into the generations growing up now.

So on this -18 C. night (0 F.) we are going to stay warm and comfy. Drink hot tea, eat Choco Pies and watch The Hound of the Baskervilles!

Come Join Us…..

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

Hello,
Windows to Russia!
I was drinking my second cup of coffee and thinking about what Russia has been doing this week. So to start with Russia has been removing as many Russian and CIS citizens out of the Gaza that she can. So far around 350 have been removed. Israel is getting ready to attack and Russia asked Israel to hold off the attack until she could remove some people before the carnage starts. Update: As of late Saturday Israel has attacked by ground forces Gaza. Sad…….

While Israel is destroying the Gaza: Ukraine is stealing gas from Russia. This is exactly what Russia said they would do. Ukraine has shown that they are now not a trustworthy transit country. Ukraine is taking over $8,000,000 a day in gas. Even though Ukraine says that they have enough to last several months, I think this shows that Ukraine does not have reserves and that theft is the only way for them to have heating gas. Russia has shut the Ukraine gas supply off and only supplies European gas through Ukraine. It is a simple measure to see if Ukraine takes gas. Gazprom knows how much gas goes in to Ukraine and they know how much gas comes out of Ukraine. Romania, Poland and Hungary all reported shortfalls of up to 40% in Russian gas delivered through Ukraine – Ukraine is stealing gas!

So while Ukraine makes themselves look like petty thieves in front of Europe: The FIS world cup alpine ski promotional event has been held in the center of Moscow. A state of the art movable ramp of Guinness book of world record dimensions was erected next to the Moscow State University. This thing is really a portable mountain. (Link)

So while Moscow is playing with ski ramps: The big foreign news in Russia is from America. ( Muslims have been kicked off a airline due to who they are and what they talked about. It was over heard that they were concerned about the safest place to sit on a airplane. It did not help that they are Muslim and dressed traditionally Muslim in appearance, with the men wearing beards and the women in head scarves. According to sources even the FBI was called and it really became a stupid situation. To top it all off all the Muslims are USA citizens.

So while America is making traveling the blue skies an experience you will never forget: The traffic Police in Moscow have their hands full and are working over time. In the first two days of the new Year 63 traffic accidents, resulting in the deaths of nine people and some 80 injured, had been recorded on Moscow roads.

Sad…

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.


Hello,

Moscow has just set a World record but not in what you would think at a skiing event.

The FIS world cup alpine promotional event has been held in the center of Moscow. A state of the art movable ramp of Guinness book of world record dimensions was erected next to the State University. The Russian capital is the first city in the world to host such a highly rated international event on a practically flat landscape. The organizers managed to gather 14 top skiers to ensure the unique experiment is successful.(Link)

This is one huge ramp and it has been designed to transport all over the world and be used at any city to host a ski event. Problem this year was that Moscow had a shortage of snow for the ramp. It needs 4,000 cubic meters of snow to function, so trucks came from Siberia and made sure that Moscow had the snow it needed.

Cool!

Kyle & Svet

Our Prize: Russian – Georgian Style Lavash Bread! (Yummy)

Hello,Windows to Russia!

Russia is in her Winter holidays. The days off are from the 1st of January to the 11th of January. This is a time when everyone (literally)is off work in Russia. The only places that you might find open are grocery stores and gas stations. This is a tradition that came about after the fall of the Soviet Union and Svet tells me she does not like the tradition. Svet feels that because the weather is so cold and snowing everyday, that to be off now is only conductive to sitting in the house and watching TV. If mandatory off time was in the summer then people could go to their Dachas and enjoy the time off.

I agree with her 75%. I like to walk in the snow so I really do more walking at this time of the year. I am a winter person though.

An example of what happens at this time of the year: Last night we took a walk to go buy groceries. We finally found a store that was open! We really had most groceries that we needed except bread. (Of course, the store had no bread because all bakeries are closed.) We left that store and went to several more, all out of bread. We stopped at a little side store that sold beer and vodka. They had two loaves of bread, that they had baked, for sale. We grabbed those last two loaves and behind us came in at least 10 people looking for bread also. The little store was now was full of people looking for the last bread on the street. I looked at my wife and said: “You know we could name our price and make lots of money off this bread!” Svet and I made it out of the store alive, as everyone was having a fit inside because we got the last two loaves. We did not feel bad because we searched for our loaves of bread and discovered them first.

In fact when we got home and took a bite of that fresh bread it was the best prize we ever had. :)

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

Windows to Russia!RBC, 01.01.2009, Kiev 19:45:42.At today’s news conference, Oleg Dubina, chairman of Naftogaz of Ukraine, told journalists that the company was planning to import 46bn cubic meters of gas in 2009, with gas transit expected to reach 120bn cubic meters. The gas price of $250 per 1,000 cubic meters proposed by Russia, combined with the gas transit fee maintained at its current mark of $1.7 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas per 100 kilometers, will drive Ukraine’s losses up to $500m, Dubina said. Naftogaz suggested buying gas at $235 per 1,000 cubic meters, and charging $1.8 per 1,000 cubic meters of gas carried for 100 kilometers. According to Dubina, after the proposal was made the talks with Gazprom were suspended rather than ended altogether. He assured journalists that Ukraine did not withdraw from the negotiations, adding that he had been on the phone with Gazprom’s CEO Alexei Miller this morning. He stated that he was ready to restart talks any time, if Russia adopted a “constructive” stance.

RBC, 01.01.2009, Kiev 19:30:01.Gas talks with Russia should be resumed over the next few days, to be completed by January 7, Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said in a statement today. “I think we are close to a compromise solution, and I would like to ask the Russian president and prime minister, as well as the Ukrainian delegation in the talks with Gazprom, to do everything possible to complete these negotiations as soon as possible,” he emphasized.

RBC, 01.01.2009, Moscow 17:52:12.Alexei Gudyma, advisor to Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko on fuel and energy matters, believes that Russia and Ukraine are on track to sign a gas deal before the Russian Orthodox Christmas on January 7. The deal is to cover all issues, including the Russian gas transit price via Ukraine, the Echo of Moscow radio quoted the advisor as saying.

RBC, 01.01.2009, Moscow 17:45:52.Ukraine prevents independent observers from inspecting gas compressor stations on its territory, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov reported. “We can see a barrage of statements from Ukraine that it will ensure the transit of Russian gas to European consumers. This is good news for us, but the question arises: why independent observers, who arrive at the borders of Ukraine’s gas transportation system and are already working at both gas-compressor and gas-holder stations in Russia and Slovakia, are prevented from entering Ukraine’s stations,” Kupriyanov said. An independent auditor, which has enough experience, is currently inspecting the amount of Russian gas transit through Ukraine, with the inspection results to be announced on January 2, according to Kupriyanov.

RBC, 01.01.2009, Moscow 16:55:53.Gazprom has signed gas contracts with Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan providing for a gas price of more than $301 per 1,000 cubic meters. The gas price, based on an average European gas price level, has been set for the first quarter of 2009, Echo of Moscow quoted official spokesman for Gazprom Sergei Kurpiyanov as saying. He also noted that Gazprom had been supplying the gas from Central Asia to Ukraine. Yesterday, Gazprom’s Deputy Chairman of the Management Committee Alexander Medvedev said that Gazprom had reached deals with all of its suppliers (Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan), but the contracts had not yet been signed. He gave no prices at that time.

RBC, 01.01.2009, Moscow 15:24:26.Gazprom increased supplies to Belarus by 20m cubic meters of natural gas in a move not related to the lack of a gas deal with Ukraine, the gas giant’s official spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told a news conference. The increase stems from a rise in consumer demand, Kupriyanov stressed.

RBC, 01.01.2009, Moscow 14:45:23.Gazprom has cut gas supplies for Ukrainian consumers by 110m cubic meters of gas, while gas export shipments were increased to 326m cubic meters, official spokesman for Gazprom Sergei Kupriyanov told a news conference today. He reiterated that Gazprom and Ukraine still had no gas deal for 2009, suggesting Russia had no legal ground to continue gas supplies. With this in mind, Gazprom halted gas deliveries to Ukraine. Kupriyanov noted that Russia was pumping less gas from its underground storages, while the cut has had no effect on the gas giant’s output.

RBC, 01.01.2009, Moscow 14:30:05.Gazprom is urging Naftogaz of Ukraine to continue talks on the 2009 gas contract, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov reported. He said information about gas price levels acceptable to Ukraine appeared on Wednesday evening, but it was after the Ukrainian delegation left Gazprom.

RBC, 31.12.2008, Moscow 19:30:21.Gazprom has offered Ukraine a preferential gas price for 2009, at $250 per 1,000 cubic meters, but Ukraine rejected it, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with President Dmitry Medvedev broadcast by Vesti TV Channel. Putin said he had discussed the matter with Ukrainian Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko earlier today. He said Russia was ready for further gas talks with Ukraine.

RBC, 31.12.2008, Moscow 16:58:07.Naftogaz of Ukraine has informed Russian gas giant Gazprom that it could seize Russian gas intended for European consumers, Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told reporters today. “If no agreement is reached on the terms of transit transportation, there will be no legal grounds to accept Russian gas into Ukraine’s gas transportation system,” says a letter signed by Naftogaz of Ukraine CEO Oleg Dubina. Such gas could be identified as gas owned by an unknown owner, and seized as such, the document warns.

RBC, 31.12.2008, Moscow 16:30:44.The issue of Ukraine’s debt for Russian gas has been settled without any help from Gazprom, the company’s spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told reporters today. “This means we were right,” he stressed. After denying its Russian gas debt for the past few months, Ukraine yesterday formally recognized that it owes $2 billion for Russian gas, taking steps to settle the debt, according to Kupriyanov. “It turned out that Ukraine has had the money all this time; the issue has been settled without Gazprom’s financial help,” he said, criticizing Ukraine’s actions as the “purposeful delay” of negotiations on the terms of cooperation in 2009. Naftogaz of Ukraine said yesterday it had transferred over $1.522 billion to the bank accounts of RosUkrEnergo. RosUkrEnergo has confirmed that it received the money, adding that Ukraine still owed it more than $600 million. Kupriyanov stressed that Ukraine had to pay its debt in full.

Hello,Windows to Russia!

Russia has had to start the New Year by doing something that she did not want to do. Cut the gas supply to Ukraine because of default in payments. Ukraine pressed the situation and played lots of games.

We have a saying in America: “The check is in the mail!” This saying comes about because everyone writes checks in America and mails payments through the postal service to pay bills and then tells the bill collector that “The check is in the mail!”

Ukraine was playing this same game. Ukraine said we sent payment through a mediator company. Ukraine said we paid our bill. The President of Ukraine said the bill is paid. The Prime Minister of Ukraine said the bill is paid. Other words the “Check is in the Mail!”

Russia (Gazprom) said: “You might have paid the bill, but we never got the money!”

So: In America we also like to say, ” The Postal Service has lost the payment!” It looks like the same thing has happened to Ukraine. Some one lost the 2 billion dollar payment. Ouch!

The core of the situation right now is that Ukraine has a huge supply of gas in underground storage facilities. This gas is from Gazprom and this is some of the gas that Ukraine refuses to pay for. For every cubic meter of this stored gas that Ukraine uses they are stealing from Russia. Ukraine is selling this gas to Europe and using this gas for its own uses. Ukraine also no longer has a contract for gas. This means that Gazprom can not legally ship gas to Ukraine. Russia has for years given Ukraine a huge discount on gas price. Russia calls it charity and only expects Ukraine to pay about half the normal cost of gas. The gas that was being shipped to Ukraine costs Russia 340 dollars a 1000 cubic meters. Ukraine got it for 179 dollars a 1000 cubic meters. Europe pays almost 500 dollars per 1000 cubic meters. Russia has now asked Ukraine to pay 250 dollars a 1000 cubic meters as of the 1st of the year 2009. remember this is still costing Russia 340 dollars per 1000 cubic meters……

Ukraine refused

This gas will run out soon and then Ukraine will still owe for all that gas plus fees, fines and penalties…….

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

Windows to Russia
From Windows to Russia to All Our readers!

Svet and I wish everyone a Happy New Year!
May 2009 have Peace in the World.

Kyle, Svetlana and Boza

Privet…

Over ten years ago I met the most wonderful Russian woman in the world! What started as friends on the Internet per e-mails and text messages, became a dream come true for this American...

I moved to Russia nine years ago and have never, one time, in all those years, regretted that move to Russia. In fact, I have realized over the years that Russia is safe, incredibly fantastic and a wonderfully explicit country to live and travel in...

I have been lucky in many ways and meeting a normal Russian woman whose main goal is not to leave Russia, that was a blessing in disguise, as I was the one who had to make the hard decision to leave my country. It was a decision that I have never ever regretted and it also opened my eyes to a whole new world of ideas and thinking's...

So welcome to Windows to Russia and stay a spell, sip a cup of coffee...

(Svetlana and Kyle)

Walkum Talkum

Sorry I do not buy that Obama is clueless about Russia. Obama is simply using false narratives well established in the public mind and is actively reinforcing such narratives with for instance his UN speech. His august 2013 interview raising the LGBT matter in Russia was also intentionally misrepresenting the actual issue. Obama is no moderate. Look at his semi covert world wide war on terror used to destabilize the Middle East ever more. Obama is simply more intelligently disingenuous than Bush. His lofty language about international law and human rights may well qualify as the ultimate gotspe...

kKEETON

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