Every day, gas wars between Ukraine and Russia are getting hotter and scandalous. Once again, Ukrainian Prime Minister N. Azarov poured oil on the flames, who recently said that gas supplies from Europe, particularly from Hungary, began in the country. The politician also thanked his colleague Viktor Orban for his principled approaches, which allowed him to complete the negotiation process and start importing European fuel into Ukraine. Azarov also noted that according to existing opportunities, about two billion cubic meters of gas will flow into the country annually, and over time, these capacities can be increased to 10 billion cubic meters. In addition, as noted by the prime minister, the parties were also able to agree on the development of other directions of transportation.
Gazprom immediately responded to this message, accusing the Ukrainian authorities of fraud. Thus, according to the statement of the head of the holding Alexander Miller, which he made on the air of the central Russian TV channel, Ukraine purchases blue fuel in Europe under fraudulent schemes, since the same Russian gas that initially goes to European territory and then goes to Europe - and to Ukraine. At the same time, in order to prove the reverse gas supply from Europe, a loop is held at the border. Miller expressed confidence that such schemes are fraudulent, and they must be fought.
It should be noted that, in addition to Hungarian gas, Ukraine intends to purchase another five billion cubic meters of gas in Germany this year, and also to begin purchasing Turkmen fuel (which is about ten billion cubic meters). In addition, negotiations are also currently underway with Slovakia and Romania on the possibilities of supplying blue fuel from the territories of these states to the gas transmission system of Ukraine.
As the Ukrainian side states, the decision to start reverse supplies was made after the transit volumes of Russian natural gas through the Ukrainian gas transportation system decreased, and accordingly, some capacities were released.
At the same time, it can be said that Alexander Miller is right, and no European fuel is supplied to Ukraine, but exclusively Russian. But this does not change absolutely nothing, because the fact of reverse deliveries is confirmed. And, most likely, surplus of Russian gas, which Gazprom transports to Europe, flows into the Ukrainian territory. Due to certain circumstances, Ukraine has agreed with Moscow on gas supplies at an extremely high price, which is much higher than the price at which the same Russian gas flows to Europe. Thus, Russia has independently created certain conditions so that Europeans can sell the surplus of Russian fuel to Ukraine.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian experts are confident that the reverse gas supply from Europe to Ukraine is not at all in conflict with international law. This was stated, in particular, by Vladimir Makukha, Deputy Minister of Energy and Coal Industry of Ukraine. In his opinion, this is an absolutely pure scheme. The politician said that buying products in the store, you do not inform the seller about who you will eat them.
We note, a little earlier, the information provided by the source from the Ministry of Energy appeared that the European gas, which is bought by the Ukrainian side, goes to Ukraine according to the scheme described by Miller. However, according to a source, the Ukrainian government sees nothing illegal in this. This is only a confirmation that the price of Russian gas for Ukraine is really too high, and therefore the same Russian fuel that enters the country through reverse supplies costs about seven percent cheaper.
Due to the fact that the next aggravation of the conflict has not yet been resolved, Kiev decided once again to create problems for Russia in Crimea. It is about preventing the Ukrainian authorities from replenishing the Russian Black Sea fleet new ships. And it seems that at first glance, the initiative didn’t come from the Ukrainians at all, and they didn’t want to touch the Russian sailors at all ... Judge for yourself: at the end of March of this year, the sudden exercises of the Russian Armed Forces on the Black Sea began, which the head of the Russian Federation personally observed from a helicopter . Putin and Minister of War S. Shoigu. At the same time, the Ukrainian authorities were not informed of the start of the exercises. In fact, international law does not provide for this, but ...
In view of the foregoing, after another setback in the Russian-Ukrainian negotiations on the position of the Russian fleet in the Crimea, a meeting of the Maritime Collegium of the Russian Government was held in Novorossiysk. Recall that Russia tried to secure the consent of the Ukrainian partners regarding the introduction of new ships into Sevastopol, and also to obtain guarantees that the new ships could be supplied with everything necessary. In response, the Ukrainian side once again assured Moscow of its friendly feelings and its readiness to constructively resolve any issues and problems ... but it did not move further.
By the way, the issues of customs duties and rearmament were raised sharply in November last year, when Ukrainian customs officers detained approximately 14 thousand tons of diesel fuel in Sevastopol, which was delivered for the needs of the Russian fleet from Novorossiysk. Then there was a demand to pay all import duties and value added tax, which is approximately 1,2 million euros. Of course, for Russians, this amount may not be very big. But here they have already decided to go on the principle, because nothing like this has happened since the days of V. Yushchenko’s presidency. According to Moscow, the similar behavior of the Ukrainian customs officers contradicts the relations of strategic partnership established between the two states. The Ukrainian side, without presenting any legal grounds, requires the payment of taxes, which contradicts not only Ukrainian legislation, but basic fleet agreements, ”said Maria Zakharova, deputy head of the press and information department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia. That is why the Russian side refused to pay these taxes. It was then that ineffective and endless negotiations began regarding customs duties and fuel. Something similar in terms of performance can be observed even now, in negotiations on new Russian ships.
More recently, these negotiations were purely theoretical, because no new ships in Sevastopol were foreseen. The exception was a small anti-sabotage boat and several minesweepers, which were later stationed in Novorossiysk. But last year the replenishment of the Russian fleet became quite real. And in the autumn of 2013, the Admiral Grigorovich patrol vessel of the 11356 project will be tested in Kaliningrad. In addition, the second such ship, the Admiral Essen, as well as the Admiral Kolchak, must be completed soon. As it is known from official sources, all three ships were planned to be sent to the Black Sea. Except in Sevastopol, there are no other places to base them. Of course, in Novorossiysk, a new naval base is being built, but the natural and climatic conditions here are not very suitable for vessels of this class and displacement.
It seems that Moscow itself is well aware that its new ships will not appear in Sevastopol in the near future. And this is due to the protracted negotiations on gas prices. Thus, if Russia does not make concessions in this matter, Ukraine, in retaliation, will not allow Russian ships to Sevastopol, forcing them to spend the winter at sea. And besides, it will continue to buy Russian gas through Europe, until such time as the cost of Russian fuel for it becomes the same as for Europe. And no one is going to stop the process of outflow of gas surplus, because such a scheme is convenient for everyone, except, of course, Gazprom ...