13 May, 2013 15:00 ▪
Wojciech Konończuk: Kiev has already taken the political decision to cede control over the transit pipeline network to Gazprom
“Statements by the Ukrainian government (including by President Yanukovych at the end of February) indicate that Kiev has already taken the political decision to cede control over the transit pipeline network to Gazprom, in exchange for lower gas prices and long-term gas transit guarantees,” believes Konończuk.
“However, several important issues remain unresolved, including the question of access to Ukrainian gas pipelines, which is crucial for Ukraine in the context of starting gas extraction from unconventional sources. Another major point of contention is Ukraine’s obligations as a member of the Energy Community, including a commitment to implementing the Third Energy Package, which the Russian government (including Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev) has openly criticised for preventing the creation of a gas consortium,” expert claims.
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“In its justification for the bill, the Ukrainian government argues that the proposed changes are in line with its obligations as a member of the Energy Community. This organisation does indeed require the breakup of Naftohaz into independent companies engaged in the extraction, transport and sale of raw materials; but this does not have to be synonymous with their privatisation. On 3 May, a conference was held in Brussels on modernising Ukraine’s gas pipelines, with the participation of the Ukrainian Energy Minister Eduard Stavitsky and the EU’s Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger. The EU stressed the need to promote a trilateral EU-Russia-Ukraine gas consortium, but no specific arrangements were made (Gazprom boycotted the meeting). Kiev’s attempt to return to talks with the EU about the consortium should be seen as an attempt to strengthen its own position in its negotiations with Russia,” Konończuk highlights.
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