Analytical program "However" with Mikhail Leontyev, 06 September 2011



Another gas scandal is brewing between Russia and Ukraine. Despite the current contract, signed by Tymoshenko in the 2009 year, which is simply unilaterally impossible to break. Actually, this very contract causes the discontent of the Ukrainian side. Hence, all the creative initiatives of the Ukrainian authorities. Change the formula, tying gas to coal prices, dissolve Naftogaz - a signatory from the Ukrainian side, and - oh, horror! - apply to the Stockholm arbitration court.


“I hope we have enough wisdom to find a joint solution, without a trial. And I consider the court to be the last resort when all our possibilities are exhausted during the negotiations,” said President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych.

The caution of the Ukrainian president can be understood: to break the existing contract with the help of the Stockholm arbitration is difficult. There is no legal basis for this. If you suspect political grounds - and it happens! - then there is even less hope. To recognize the contract as invalid means to plant Yulia Tymoshenko, accused of signing this particular contract, by the hands of European justice.

Chef can not be disturbed: the position of the chef is known. With regard to the dispersal of the guilty Naftogaz - it is generally separate история, no relation to contractual obligations not having. In the context of international law, he should still have a legal successor. In fact, the position of the Russian side looks legally flawless, although seemingly extremely tough.

The price formula, fixed by the current agreement, contains a coefficient tied to the prices of petroleum products for the preceding 9 months. Plus, Ukraine received an 20-percent discount on 2009 year. As a result, in 2009, Ukraine bought gas on average for 230 dollars per thousand cubic meters, in 2010, about 260. Now Ukraine, taking into account the $ 100 discount received for extending the lease of the Black Sea Fleet base, is paying about 320, which roughly corresponds to the price of gas for Europe. Taking into account the current prices for petroleum products, according to Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, "one can speak with the utmost confidence" that in the next quarter the price of gas for Ukraine may exceed 500 dollars per thousand cubic meters. As Miller subtly noted, "this causes concern for Ukrainian consumers."

Still would! Not only anxiety, but also envy. Neighboring Belarus pays for gas at half the price. True, neighboring Belarus is in the Customs Union, that is, in a single economic space with Russia. And Gazprom is the co-owner of the Belarusian pipe. Actually, exactly this is offered to Ukraine. Moreover, Yanukovych himself said something about the Customs Union. However, then, as usual, he made the "European choice". In fact, Ukraine does not have any shreds on the "European choice", given the current situation in the European Union. While the Customs Union with Russia offers Ukraine obvious and very large-scale advantages. But that is Ukraine, not Yanukovych. It seems involuntarily that this is not exactly the same thing.

“We are faced with a situation in which Ukraine is losing large amounts of money today,” Viktor Yanukovych said. “We are convinced that we are incurring extra costs today. We cannot sit back and take no active steps to somehow resolve this issue.”

Faced? And take action! However, not all active actions are a means of resolving the issue. Talk about coal and the Stockholm arbitration, in any case, is not exactly the solution to this issue. It remains to assume that the Ukrainian authorities solve some other issues. What kind?
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