Dmitry Medvedev interfered into Russian-Ukrainian gas talks.
Disagreements on gas between the Russian Federation and Ukraine settled during the talks in Gdansk last week by Russian and Ukrainian Prime Ministers Vladimir Putin and Yulia Timoshenko can run high again.
Yesterday during the business meeting with the head of “Gazprom” Aleksey Miller President Dmitry Medvedev criticized the offers on changing the conditions of Russian gas transit through Ukrainian territory and advised to follow the contract signed earlier.
Despite that the claims of President referred only the down payment for transit, which according to Miller was demanded by Ukrainian colleagues, a part of experts supposed that the revision can touch upon the idea of transit rate increase, which was declared by Yulia Timoshenko after the negotiations with Vladimir Putin on September 1st. And this means either another differences in statements of the Prime Minister and President or the prove of more complicated political game.
The head of “Gazprom” informed President that Ukraine paid strictly for Russian gas supplies during the last two months. “But Ukrainian partners say that it would be great to consider the issue on down payment through transit tariff”, - added Miller carefully.
At the same time he underlined that Russian Party has already helped by down paying for the transit of its gas through the territory of Ukraine, “up to the first quarter including”. “The fact that Ukrainian partners pay the bill is great, we can only welcome this, - noted Medvedev. This is a sign that our partners fulfill their obligations”. However, the issue of changing transit payment conditions, which is lobbied by Ukrainian colleagues, faced a harsh turn-down from the State. Having learned that the new payment conditions suggested by Kiev were not specified in the concluded agreement, President replied in short: “Then don’t pay at all! We should act in accordance with the concluded agreement, - he continued. – We developed it properly and thoroughly, and we follow it. We should keep the obligations we took and we shouldn’t figure out something else. We also experience hard times”.
Meanwhile, only a week ago Yulia Timoshenko declared that she managed to agree with Vladimir Putin on all the urgent gas matters: the abolishment of fines for underrun of gas and increase of transit tariffs. According to her, Ukraine will pay only for actually consumed gas and in 2010 Kiev intends to purchase 25 billion cubic meters of gas, which is twice less that specified in the contract for 2009-2019, signed between “Naftogaz Ukrainy” and “Gazprom” on January 19th. “There will be no penal sanctions, it’s unacceptable” – underlined Timoshenko. Moreover, she informed that she has already warned Putin that the cost of Russian gas transit through the territory of Ukraine starting from 2010 will raise for 65-70% depending on oil prices.
On September 2nd “Naftogaz Ukrainy” announced the parameters of the possible increase – from the current 1.7 USD up to 2.7 USD for pumping 1 thousand cubic meters per 100 km. “Gazprom” itself has already accepted the fact that transit costs will be increased. Last Thursday on September 3rd the official representative of the group of companies Sergey Kurpiyanov informed that he also expects the costs to grow but a bit less then Timoshenko stated – for 50-60%. “Depending on oil prices the tariff can differ – he explained. – At the moment the forecast of “Gazprom” for the next year - 2.56-2.7 USD for 1 thousand of cubic meters per 100 km.
Translated from ng.ru