Putin did a big interview yesterday with western reporters and academics, which includes this:
"Mr Putin referred to Ukraine saying that Russia had to consider the $5bn a year it has lost annually over 15 years in supplying cheap gas to Kiev. But – “Thank God” – there was finally an agreement earlier this year to raise prices.
“Our European and American partners decided to support the Orange Revolution…It’s is kind of shocking, problematic…If you started it, then go ahead and pay (ie subsidies to Kiev). You want the long term political benefits but you want us to pay. (If) you don’t want to pay, take a realistic look at the situation.”
Mr Putin argued that Europe would suffer economically if its metal industries paid $250 per thousand cubic metres for gas while Ukrainian competitors paid $50. “It’s a political decision by our western European and American partners. It`s a mistake and a bad approach.
[Note: Akhmetov's SCM are doing a deal with Gazprom to purchase cheap gas direct, bypassing RosUkrEnergo and Naftohas Ukrainy, ostensibly to insure against possible shortages of gas supplied by national companies; and what about Russian producers who are getting dirt-cheap gas?..LEvko]
“But despite all the problems we have achieved (in Ukraine) benefits for all European partners.” Mr Putin said the negotiations over the gas contract with Ukraine had been difficult but Russia had succeeded in reaching separate agreements for transit to gas to Europe and the supply to Ukraine. “The five-year transit contract which governs the energy supply to Europe, this is a huge step towards energy security in Europe. Great credit should be paid to President Yushchenko. He is a serious and responsible politician who does not go for expediency and who is a serious player in this market and makes Ukraine a respected country….”
No mention of Yanuk, who arranged the SCM-Gazprom deal with Putin a few days ago in Sochi, at all, but praise for Yush..Hmm.
Some wild speculation: Perhaps Kremlin Inc. was somehow involved with the Yush poisoning, and maybe a skim-off from RosUkrEnergo 'divvied up' between Yush [and Putty] is some kind of compensation? Quite ridiculous to even think of this of course..
Accusations almost exactly a year ago by Oleksandr Zinchenko and people close to Yuliya Tymoshenko of corrupt schemes involving RosUkrEnergo-Yushchenko's close circle-'luybi druzhi' is what broke the back of the Orange Coalition.