Smells 'fishy' to me.
When negotiating with an untrustworthy party every tiny detail has to be settled and agreed before any declarations are made - no "wriggle-room" left. It is not credible such a complex deal could be made in just a few hours, adding to suspicion that the broad outline revealed at the press conference could well differ from the closed deal actually struck.
Have any of the principles of negotiations declared by Yulia Tymoshenko in her Friday statement:
- "no middlemen;
- direct relations between Naftogaz and Gazprom;
- mutually beneficial prices for gas and transit;
- no talks about possible privatization or any other forms of transfer of the Ukrainian gas transportation system",
If, as it appears, Ukraine 'lost out' on the deal, Yulia Tymoshenko will blame president Yushchenko for 'poking his nose in' during the last days of last year. The ground for this was prepared in Friday's statement by the PM.
But at least Tymoshenko has gone for a floating price - better when prices are falling, rather that a fixed price deal - better when prices look like going up.
And what's to be done about Gazprom's claim that the Ukrainian side still owes $614 million dollars in late payment charges? Hardly worth mentioning, is it?