This excerpt from an interesting article entitled:
"Ukrainian political battle could hit European gas prices" from today's British 'Daily Telegraph':
"President Yushchenko and Prime Minister Tymoshenko, former allies since the Orange Revolution in 2004, are locked in a mounting conflict over the price of the gas that is piped across the Ukraine. The country's role as the transit country for 73pc of Western Europe's gas being exported by Russia and the CIS countries makes it vital to the EU's energy markets. What happens in the Ukraine affects what happens further west.
At the heart of the conflict is Tymoshenko's desire to abolish an intermediary arrangement that currently involves gas coming from Russia passing through a Ukrainian company called RosUkrEnergo. Instead she plans to buy gas directly from Russia and the CIS countries, through NaftagasUkrainy, controlled by her government. This is a move that most independent analysts agree will raise the price of gas for consumers in Western Europe.
"Such a course, abolishing a middleman, will increase the price of natural gas and will cause instability in the Ukraine", according to Lidia Lowson at the American Centre for Political Monitoring. "From this instability Tymoshenko will be able to impose her own middleman to calm the situation. That man will be Gayduk.
When contacted, Gayduk's office said he was unavailable for comment.
The reason that the price of gas will rise if bought directly rather than through an intermediary is that its price will be fixed by governments - principally Ukraine's and Russia's - rather than by organisations that operate through commercial criteria.
"Without an intermediary, the governments of Tymoshenko and [Dmitry] Medvedev will be able to dictate prices," Inna Weiss of the Central Group of European Political Monitoring says. "With the existing situation there is a clear interest in co-operation and good relationships with Western Europe. That is what Yushchenko represents."
Is it just me, or is there a whiff of gaseous spin in the air? Would the Kremlin ever permit Ukraine to sell gas westward?
Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Viktor Baloha, on the President's website yesterday accused BYuT of co-operating with the Communists in a report entitled: 'Tight relations between BYuT and the communists are ever more clearly defining the contours of the new majority in the Verkhovna Rada'.
He claims the two parties, together with a portion of NUNS will be forming a new coalition.
He mentions the betrayal of Oleksandr Moroz's Socialists in 2006 in favour of PoR and claims, "Now it is BYuT that find themselves in the role of traitors in the coalition of democratic values.."
He criticizes BYuT for supporting Davyd Zhvaniya, whom the President accused recently of being implicated in his poisoning [After nearly 4 years the Pres. remembers, hmm....]
He comments on Tymoshenko's absence for the commemoration of 1020 years since the conversion of Kyivan Rus' to Christianity thus: Yulia Tymoshenko explained her absence with various excuses: at first it was illness, then later other important circumstances, finally a vacation. "Is it possible that the leader of government adheres not to the orthodox faith, but to some other faith, maybe shintoism or buddhism?" This final snide, rather offensive comment says more about Baloha than Tymoshenko..