"Today's gas import scheme [for importing three-quarters of Ukraine's gas needs from Central Asia and Russia via monopolistic trader RosUkrEnergo] is dubious from the the ethical point of view," said president Yuschenko in an interview several days ago.
Even chairman of Gazprom's board of directors, Dmitriy Medvedev, one of Putin's closest buddies, recently spoke of the possible liquidation of RosUkrEnergo. But, as with many matters in Ukraine, reality is something quite different.
Ekonomichyeskiye Izvyestiya reports that by the end of the week the price of gas for Ukraine for next year will be fixed, but that the annulment of the agreement of 4th January, 2006, whereby RosUkrEnergo was nominated monopolist intermediary for supplying gas to Ukraine until 2011, will not be considered at all.
In spite of statements by President Victor Yushchenko that negotiations on the price of gas for Ukraine must be conducted at intergovermental level, the big decisions will be made by people behind Gazprom, the Ukrainian state gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy, and Swiss-registered middleman RosUkrEnergo. [RUE is 50% owned by Gazprom, and 45% and 5% by Ukrainian front-men Dmitriy Firtash and Ivan Fursin respectively].
'Gazeta po Kyevski' is puzzled why Yushchenko today met Fuel and Energy minister Yuriy Boyko, National Security and Defence Council head Ivan Plyushch, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Arseniy Yatsenyuk, and suggests it was to give secret directives to Boyko before the minister goes to Moscow and the price of Russian gas for 2008 is finalized. The deputy head of the pressa's secretariat also attended. All those present left the encounter without comment.
Yesterday Gazprom had announced that Ukraine's mysterious $2 Bn gas debt had been paid off, but how this huge debt had been allowed to build-up in the first place is unknown. And why is the president entrusting Boyko, a very shady character to say the least, and now a PoR deputy-elect, on such a vital mission? They probably want to sort out gas supply deals with Gazprom/Kremlin before [or just in case] Tymoshenko becomes prime minister again. She has vowed to clean up Ukraine's entire shadowy gas procurement business.
It was Tymoshenko's loyal adjutant Oleksandr Turchynov's investigations in September 2005 when he headed the SBU, into allegedly fraudulent practices involving the transport of Turkmen gas to Ukraine by two companies, Eural Trans Gas and RosUkrEnergo, that eventually led to president Yushchenko dismissing prime minister Tymoshenko and her entire cabinet to the dismay of orange supporters.
RosUkrEnergo is just too efficient and useful a siphon mechanism to be scrapped..
Sweet words butter no parsnips