Saturday, February 17, 2007

The Russians are coming?

The current 'Profil' weekly magazine carries an interview with a distinguished former strategy analyst, Serhiy Dyachenko, who has worked for the Ukrainian NSDC, presidential secretariat, and 'MinTopEnergo'. In it he is questioned about the purchase by Russian oligarch Viktor Vekselberg of Ukrainian regional and city power utility and gas transport companies [Gorgazy], and how this may increase Russia's control of Ukrainian industrial enterprises.

I thought the following exchange interesting:

"I do not see a danger to the national security of Ukraine. A lot of fuss has been created because this question has been politicized.

If we put aside the politics, what conclusions can we make from this story?

It's simple - Russian business was, is, and will be a very serious player on the internal Ukrainian gas market...

What will be the consequences for Ukraine of similar policies by Russian business?

It is necessary to expect attempts of privatization of Ukrainian defence enterprises by them or of "UkrTelecom", such factories as "Yuzhmash", "Motor-Sich" and others. Russians will try to include them in its technological chains. For them it is expensive to build their own new plants, and so naturally, there will be questions of property as well.

As a matter of fact, Russia offers Ukraine a choice: either she becomes her close technological and political partner in the next few years, or their relations will be transferred onto the plane of relations that already exists for other independent economic partners. And the price for gas from the monopolist supplier Russia, will be absolutely different [to that which exists today]."

Several days ago Russian President Vladimir Putin’s held his annual meeting in the Kremlin with the owners of Russia’s largest companies. He requested they develop and upgrade Russia’s industrial base, diversify the economy and prioritize high value-added activities.

The newly appointed Russian defence minister Anatoly Serdyukov, is to mastermind an eight-year arms modernisation programme.


Today Rinat Akhmetov clarified via his press- secretary, the statements he made to the press yesterday. [See yesterday's posting.]

According to Akmetov "There cannot be any talk of union of the parties [PoR and BYuT] in the anti-crisis coalition. I spoke only of a situational [?] union."

In order to pass a decent law on the opposition, "We are ready to collaborate with BYuT. Certainly, we could pass this law without BYuT, we have enough votes. But, this would surely be incorrect - nevertheless it is that party that today is in opposition."

Akmetov used footballing metaphors to explain his views. "In football we want a strong, honest and competitive championship. Then our teams will grow and can worthily compete in Europe. In football there are rules of game which I may not like. I can curse at the referee, and curse those that devised these rules, but nevertheless I will obey the rules of game."

I am convinced that this is correct for our politics," noted Akhmetov. "First, it is necessary to establish the rules, secondly, it is necessary to learn to play according to the rules. Then we obtain strong, honest, competitive politics and politicians ." He emphasized that it is necessary to take into account that: "We are now creating rules in earnest, and for a long time forward."

Some reports say that Yanukovych's Wednesday visit to Donetsk was very low key with a high level of security - 'as if it were not in Donetsk, but in Ivano-Frankivsk.'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Was it just me? but Yanukovych did not look happy standing next to Akhmetov in the pics at UApravda site. He looked alot more comfortable in Kyiv today at the opening of a metro station. (odd - does he want to dump the 'puppetmaster'?)