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Having finally acknowledged that there is no alternative to Russian gas, Kyiv needs to move on to negotiations on its direct purchases from Russia

 

The head of NJSC Naftogaz of Ukraine, Yurii Vitrenko, acknowledged that Ukraine has no alternative to Russian gas received through the pipeline. Despite the numerous tales of Ukrainian politicians about the prospects for the supply of liquefied blue fuel in tankers, Naftogaz was forced to admit that Ukrainian ports did not have the appropriate terminals that would allow accepting ships with LNG, and the delivery of such gas to Ukraine itself is a big question. And the NJSC head called the purchase of gas from American exporters a game of financial speculation, which does not solve the problem of the country’s energy security.

Kyiv finally either saw the light, or sobered it up, or decided to say honestly: in recent years, Ukraine has been consuming the same Russian gas, only purchased through third parties – allegedly from European partners, and there is no alternative to this blue fuel. And if the Ukrainian authorities are really concerned about the country’s energy security, then their next step should be a radical change in approaches to solving the issue of supplying the country with gas, based on the economic and strategic interests of Ukraine itself.

One should realize that during all these years the country has been receiving gas directly from the Russian Federation, taking blue fuel from its own gas transmission system. Although this is presented to Ukrainians as if Ukraine buys gas from European partners, where it is supposedly transported to .At the same time, payment for this Russian gas really goes to European companies, and at cosmically inflated prices, which are a heavy burden on the shoulders of gas consumers: both the population and legal entities.

If the current Ukrainian government is ready to finally put an end to this criminal scheme, take responsibility for the country’s energy security, preserve Ukraine’s gas transportation system and really prevent a catastrophe in the energy sector, it should abandon political speculations on the topic of blue fuel and act in a civilized manner on the gas market – exclusively in the interests of their state.

First, for uninterrupted supply of blue fuel at a real price, without overpayments to European intermediaries on the exchange, Kyiv needs to start negotiations on direct purchases of natural gas from Russia today. 

Second, it is necessary to start negotiations as soon as possible on the preservation of the transit of Russian gas to Europe through the territory of Ukraine. Both the Ukrainian authorities and the leadership of Naftogaz of Ukraine call the transit issue critical for the country. Accordingly, work on the extension of this contract should become the prerogative of official Kyiv.

And third, for the sake of uninterrupted pumping of Russian blue fuel through the Ukrainian pipeline (this would allow preserving the gas transportation system of Ukraine and securing its future), it is necessary to substantively approach the topic of creating a trilateral gas transportation consortium, which has been discussed for many years. A consortium with the participation, beside Ukraine, on the one hand of the Russian Federation, which is able to act as a guarantor and ensure uninterrupted pumping of blue fuel through the territory of Ukraine, and on the other side of the European Union, in which there are consumers of Russian gas transited through Ukraine.

It is quite obvious that only under this condition it is possible to talk about investments in the modernization of the Ukrainian gas transportation system, which is critically necessary and for the implementation of which there are no funds in the Ukrainian budget and is not foreseen. And only in this case it is possible to preserve the transit of Russian gas to the West through the Ukrainian pipeline in volumes sufficient for its uninterrupted operation.

The issue of energy and economic security of Ukraine can no longer remain a subject of political speculation. And the Ukrainian authorities understand this, as evidenced by the latest statements by Ukrainian officials that there is no alternative to Russian gas. So, before it really is too late, it is time for the authorities to move from words to deeds and not engage in hysterical verbiage, but to “reset” bilateral relations with Russia and revise the energy strategy taking into account real market conditions and the interests of Ukraine and its citizens.

Viktor Medvedchuk,

Chairman of the Political Council of the “OPPOSITION PLATFORM - FOR LIFE” party

Опубликовано: 3 January 2022
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