Whether Brussels to prevent the gas conflict between Kiev and Moscow

Kiev — Ukraine and Russia finish the year with a number of unresolved gas problem. Gas reserves, Ukraine will be enough only in case of warm winter. Experts do not exclude that will break out a new “gas war”.

The gas pipeline in Ukraine

Gas reserves in Ukrainian underground storage facilities on new year’s eve has decreased by almost 12 billion cubic meters. This may be sufficient until the end of the heating season, in January and February does not hit hard frosts, said in an interview with DW, the Chairman of the Bureau for complex analysis and forecasts Sergey Dyachenko. “But in the case of the twenty degrees of frost in several weeks Ukraine will need at least 17 billion cubic meters of gas for domestic consumers and uninterrupted transit to the EU,” he said.

Naftogaz of Ukraine said that will not buy Russian gas until the end of the heating season and is expected in the March verdict of the Stockholm arbitration. The claim of the Ukrainian party provides for compensation for the refusal of the Russian partner from the revision of gas prices under the contract of purchase and sale with a volume of 18.1 billion dollars, and according to the transit contract for 10.2 billion dollars.

Russian Gazprom has put forward a counterclaim for the failure of the Ukrainian side of obligations under the contract. This dispute was the reason that the gas negotiations on December 9 with the participation of the European Commission, Ukraine and Russia have not yielded results. “The parties only reiterated their positions, and the Commission was assured that Ukraine and Russia will adhere to its obligations under the supply and transit of gas to EU countries”, — said the Deputy Director of scientific-technical center “Psyche” Gennady Ryabtsev.

Alarming statements

All our Ukraine in winter gas procured from European companies. Russian gas Kiev does not receive the autumn of 2015. Director of Institute of power researches Dmitry marunich believes that Russian fuel is much cheaper and Naftogaz of Ukraine is overpaying for 20— 30 dollars per thousand cubic meters. “Since the beginning of the year Ukraine lost approximately $ 100 million,” — said the expert. A similar statement was made by Russian energy Minister Alexei Novak.

December 16, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller predicted a further increase in gas prices because of higher oil prices on world markets. He warned that his company has the right to restrict deliveries in the case of illegal selection by Ukraine of a part of transit gas.

Naftogaz of Ukraine has regarded this statement as “the preparation of a new Russia gas crisis” and attempts to shift responsibility for failure to supply gas to European consumers in Ukraine, as it was in 2006 and 2009.

In turn, the press service of Ukrtransgaz, which operates transit in the EU December 12, has accused Gazprom of “violating the parameters of gas pressure on the Russian border gas metering station”. According to the company, within 30 days of the November contract pressure gas metering station in Pisarevka is aged only 12 days, and the station Sudzha consistently was below the contract conditions.

Unstable arrangements

Ukrainian experts believe reached in Brussels on arrangements unstable and do not exclude that at the first crisis they can be violated by all three parties. “If frosts, Gazprom will have to reduce the pressure in the main gas pipelines, to meet the needs of Russian consumers. In turn, the Ukrainian automation will limit the transit of Russian gas, not to leave without gas for Ukrainian consumers, which will lead to a shortage of gas transit to the EU countries”, said Sergey Dyachenko.

In his view, Moscow wants Kiev to resume purchasing Russian gas, but also paying the cost of the gas it supplies to uncontrolled Kiev territory of Donbass.

“But this gas is not taken into account, its delivery is not controlled by the Ukrainian observers,” — said the expert. He also pointed out that Russia rejected the EU’s proposal to make transparent the entire chain of business from production to transit to foreign consumers. In turn, the Minister of energy of Ukraine of fugitive ex-President Viktor Yanukovych and Yuri Boyko also refused the assistance of the European Union in the arrangement of gas metering stations on the Ukrainian side on the border with Russia.

Until now, Moscow has never been able to prove the violation by Kiev of transit obligations, says Sergey Dyachenko. However, this does not mean that the EU will automatically be on the side of Ukraine in the case of a new gas conflict. “The EU promised Ukraine a loan of 500 million euros for the purchase of gas from European operators, but not the fact that they have the necessary volumes,” — said Gennady Ryabtsev.