The “Gas War” between Russia and the Ukraine continues to this day, prompting fears of a return to the winters of 2006 and 2009, when Russia temporarily halted natural gas deliveries to the Ukraine and some Western European countries. Last week, the Ukraine said it was suspending the purchase of gas from Russia, and relying on supplies from its own storage facilities. However, it backtracked on the announcement within days. The Ukrainians want to reduce purchases of Russian gas, and keep sending requests to Gazprom to lower the volume delivered, but there’s been no agreement on that yet. In addition, Kiev doesn’t like the price offered by Gazprom, even taking into account that it reflects a discount on the rates offered to Western European customers. Russia said that Naftogaz Ukrainy, the Ukraine’s state-owned oil and gas company, owes over 1 billion USD (33 billion Roubles. 1.07 billion CAD. 1.12 billion AUD. 732 million Euros. 612 million UK Pounds) in unpaid gas bills. The Ukraine maintains that Russia charges it more for gas than it does some other European nations. Russia was ready to offer concessions to the Ukraine, but only after the Ukrainians agree to certain conditions. Some of the main sticking points are the creation of a consortium for control of the Ukrainian natural gas pipeline network and the Ukraine’s accession to the Customs Union of the Eurasian Economic Community (TS EvrAsES). According to Russian Ambassador to the Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov, Russia would offer the Ukraine a price far below the current 268.50 USD (8,859 Roubles. 286 CAD. 301 AUD. 197 Euros. 165 UK Pounds) per 1,000 cubic metres (compared to 400 USD (13,197 Roubles. 426 CAD. 449 AUD. 293 Euros. 245 UK Pounds) per 1,000 cubic metres for Western European customers) if a Russian-Ukrainian consortium were to take over management of the Ukrainian gas transport pipeline network.
26 November 2013
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