New gas agreement with Russia: how not to fall again into the trap of the Kremlin?

In 2019, ending the controversial gas contracts between Ukraine and Russia, signed by Yulia Tymoshenko and Putin in 2009. Ukraine in recent years have stopped buying Russian gas. But there is an important question of transit of gas through Ukraine to Europe.

Do I need to sign new contracts with Russia and on what terms – the article 24 of the channel.

“Take or pay”

In January 2009, after lengthy negotiations, Putin and Yulia Tymoshenko signed a 10-year supply contracts of Russian gas to Ukraine and its transit via the Ukrainian territory on a “take or pay”. This item is provided for the penalties for the Ukrainian side in the case of a shortfall of Russian gas specified in the contract.

According to the agreements, Ukraine has committed to annually purchase 50 billion cubic meters of gas, although in reality we did not need in such numbers. The price of gas was the highest in Europe – 232 dollars per cubic meter. According to the calculations of “Naftogaz” scheme by which we buy gas from the Russians from 2009 year, caused damage to the Ukrainian economy in excess of $ 32 billion.

Yulia Tymoshenko signed with Putnam enslaving gas agreement for ten years

After the revolution of dignity Ukraine gradually began to abandon Russian gas, buying it in Europe. According to political scientist Alexander Leonov, more than a thousand days we do not buy Russian gas. In addition, in 2018 the Stockholm arbitration ordered the Russian “Gazprom” to pay “Naftogaz of Ukraine” to 4.63 billion for failure to supply the agreed volumes of gas for transit. At the same time, Gazprom sent an official message of “Naftogaz” about cancellation of contracts on delivery and gas transit through Stockholm arbitration.

The current debt of “Gazprom” to “Naftogaz” consists of two parts – the purchase and sale contract and the transit of 2.56 billion and more than $ 6 billion in antitrust claims by the decision of the Ukrainian courts. In UAH recalculated amount is more than 220 billion. However, to recover the money have not yet succeeded.

Ukrainian gas transport system is a political hostage of Russia

At first glance, Ukraine off Russian gas needle. As noted Leonov, in 2018, Ukraine bought 10 billion of gas. And in signing new agreements with Gazprom, you can set a condition – no more than 5 billion cubic meters of Russian gas.

The loss of the Ukrainian market hit hard by “Gazprom”. We have shown that energy weapons have no effect. But Russia wants us a lot of gas purchased, as Europe began to buy less,
– Alexander Leonov.

The problem of the Ukrainian gas transportation system, through which Russia supplies gas to Europe. According to the expert Andrew Wigierski, Ukraine wants Russia offered competitive long-term price for gas transit to Europe. “Naftogaz” even prescribed tariff scale, according to which the price for transit is higher than specified in the current agreements. But “Gazprom” she declared, referring to those gas contracts. “Naftogaz” promises to seize $ 12 billion, “Gazprom”, but in this part of the claim of Stockholm, have failed.

Ukrainian gas pipe – a bargaining chip for political pressure on Kiev and Europe

Is crucially important for Ukraine to pump through the GTS a certain amount of gas annually – at least 30 billion cubic meters. At the same time, Russia, together with Germany, launched the project of the pipeline “Nord stream-2”, plus “Turkish stream”, which can leave our pipe without any gas. Ukraine says Wigierski, worried that the gas we consumed all year round. And peak demand in Europe during the winter. And maintain the GTS have a loss.

Ukraine proposes trilateral talks with the European Commission and Gazprom. But it comes to the fact that the GTS can simply stay in the ground. “Gazprom” does not want a long-term contract on transit. They say: Poland, Slovakia, Hungary will make application for a certain amount of gas, Russia protransporte this volume in a short time. A permanent appointment is not needed. Market rules. Ukraine can not refuse. But then Europe would be offended. And what to do with the pipe? Except for Russia, gas is not one to be pumped. Alternate source no. The loss will amount to $ 3 billion annually
– emphasizes Wigierski.

Russia will delay the signing of contracts and to blackmail Europe

By opinion of experts, Russia will be possible to delay the signing of contracts and wait for the results of presidential and parliamentary elections in Ukraine.

It is important for Russia to sign gas contract us to cling to the Ukrainian market. Moscow wants us to buy a certain amount of gas, and Russia will provide gas transit through Ukraine to Europe. But this question is linked to the elections in Ukraine. In Russia there are irrational expectations that Ukraine change of power, and Moscow will decide everything on their own terms,
– says Alexander Leonov.

The analyst notes that Russia wants to tie the contracts to the decisions of the Stockholm arbitration, Ukraine to abandon their claims. The first trilateral talks with the European Commission, Russia has ripped off.

In addition, Russia will push the “Nord stream-2”, focusing on the fact that Ukraine is incomprehensible political waves because of the elections, and without an agreement in Moscow can’t guarantee you anything in Europe.

There is a caveat in favor of Ukraine. Gazprom to transport gas to Europe must be taken now, “the Nord stream-2” is yet to be built. Russia may become in the position to say: don’t supply gas without a contract. But in order to supply gas to Europe, it is necessary to constantly drive. In 2009 Russia was on the brink. “Gazprom” it was necessary either to burn the gas directly in the fields, or to put. Ukraine had to wait a little while, and Russia would be more cooperative. But Yulia Tymoshenko is surrendered,
– said Leonov.

However, in his opinion, Russia can resort to blackmail Europe to get the European Commission to put pressure on Ukraine to sign a transit agreement, threatening that otherwise may be disrupted transit of gas to Europe. Russia will claim that we signed is beneficial to the Kremlin the contract on transit, and tie to this the commitments of Ukraine to buy gas.

Now, the European Commission proposed Ukraine to conclude agreement for use of its transmission system for at least the next ten years. According to the Vice-President of the European Commission for Energy Union maroš Šefčovič, the contract for the transit of Russian gas may conclude after 2019. The European Commission wants to keep the volume of transit of Russian gas through the Ukrainian GTS.

And the head of “Naftogaz” Andrey KOBOLEV says that after the tripartite meeting in Brussels on 21 January, Ukraine received a proposal on the possible volumes and terms of contract for gas transit after 2019. But the official statements of “Gazprom” yet. The Minister of foreign Affairs of Ukraine Pavlo Klimkin recognizes that Russia is delaying the negotiations.

Putin is, first and foremost, will put pressure on Germany, which is interested in the “Nord stream-2”

On the other hand, according to Andrew Wigerinck, Gazprom has enough time to find other ways to deliver gas to Europe. Therefore, experts believe that certain compromises Ukraine will have to go.

Formula take-or-pay cancelled in the Stockholm arbitration. Will not be obliged to buy 50 billion cubic meters of gas annually. Average to 5 billion. For Russia, this is not a very big winnings. But the propaganda point is that we were forced to buy gas. In the domestic arena, Russia will be possible to speak about certain moral satisfaction. However, to Ukrainian gas transportation system operated, you need to pump every year at least 30-40 billion cubic meters of gas. Therefore it is necessary to make certain concessions. It’s not cheating. We have shown that energy weapons have no effect –
says Alexander Leonov.

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