Saturday, February 09, 2008

Gas showdown imminent?

'Obozrevatel' runs this article following Friday's collapse of talks aimed at resolving the latest gas crisis between Russia's 'Gazprom' and Ukraine's 'Naftohaz Ukrainy'. Gazprom has stated, that deliveries of Russian gas to Ukraine will stop on Tuesday at 10.00 am Moscow time, if the Ukrainian side "does not regulate the situation around its debts".

Here are some portions:

Putin to decide fate of Tymoshenko's government?

Igor Didenko - the first Deputy Chairman of Naftohaz conducted negotiations on behalf of the government of Ukraine and his company.

Gazprom put forward five conditions, but details of these are not known. This means, in essence, Russia has presented Ukraine with an ultimatum: either the government of Ukraine satisfies these conditions, or the Ukrainian Kabmin will be is forced to acquire gas at worldwide prices - most likely, not from Gazprom.

Russian politicians and businessmen connected with the gas business say bluntly that President Vladimir Putin, and the management of Gazprom which he completely controls, will this time "go to the [bitter] end" with this.

It will be necessary for President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko to solve the gas problem in his negotiations with Putin. A high-ranking Russian government official stated without any reservations: "It is not possible to entrust the country to Yulia Tymoshenko. Running the government of Ukraine is not playing games with UESU [the energy company which Tymoshenko headed in the mid '90's]"

So, it is obvious, that the leadership of the Russian Federation has decided to use a gas map to finally decide the fate of the Tymoshenko government and the entire ruling coalition.

It is worthwhile noting that Yulia Volodymyrivna has herself 'set herself up' for this, since no one else asked to change the mediator for the acquisition of Russian gas. Specifically, it was from this that the gas crisis began.

When new Naftohaz chief Oleh Dubina opened the thick dossier on the transgressions of the management of Naftohaz, it never occurred to him that this would be the beginning of the disintegration of government, appointed by Tymoshenko.

'Russia Today's' 'take' on this story here

LEvko considers Putin will not gain any friends in Europe with these kind of deadlines...He should read the European newspapers from the 2005/2006 Russian/Ukrainian gas crisis. But hey, he doesn't care about that does he?


hans said...

Just saw the ZN article talking with Dubina:

Leaving for the weekend in a few minutes, so only skimmed it, but looks interesting.

Leopolis said...

I think that the Kremlin will change its tack for Gas Wars Part II.

Despite what the papers say, there are plenty of businessmen in Germany, Italy and France who want to make good money working with Gazprom.

Europe simply needs the energy. Bulgaria just approved South Stream; Gaz de France favors it over Nabucco.

However, if Tymoshenko keeps plugging the EU on the opaque nature of the intermediaries, then Ukraine may have a good shot of getting more Eurocrats on Ukraine's side.