Monday, February 20, 2006

Gas problem not settled--more evidence

This is some evidence that the gas crisis in Ukraine if far from being settled.

The head of gas monopoly Gazprom on Friday denied any disagreements with the Turkmen government over the price of natural gas it buys from the Central Asian nation.

Gazprom chief Alexei Miller met with Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov in the capital, Ashgabat, following the Turkmen leader's announcement last week of a 65 percent hike in gas export prices later this year. "There are no disputes between Russia and Turkmenistan concerning the price or volumes of the Turkmen gas that we import," Miller said after the

I read an article somewhere which stated that Russia put pressure on Turkmenistan to lower its price for natural gas in order to be able to make the Ukraine deal, such as that deal was. Looks like now there may be some grumbling on the Turkmen's part. Maybe they don't like it. So will Russia be able to deliver on its deal with Ukraine? Maybe not. Well, don't all these contracts mean anything? Actually, they don't mean much. Around this area of the world where the courts are subject to political pressure, these contracts may memorialize an understanding arrived at on January X, 2006 at 3:10 p.m. but they don't necessarily mean much for the long term. This is to say that this is a political problem or a geopolitical problem rather than a legal problem. In other words, the solution won't be found in a reading of the legal documents.

This is a real problem. Ukraine needs an energy policy now. There are rumors of some thinking on the subject but there needs to be a lot more than that.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do you think it would help stabilize things if more western gov'ts got involved like Sweden has decided to recently?,20060220004