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.