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Archive for December, 2005

Happy New Year

Posted by the Editor on December 31, 2005


News / 31 December 2005 | 13:00

Happy New Year

Happy New Year

ForUm wishes everyone Happy New Year and Merry Christmas.

We love and appreciate greatly all our readers. The English version of the site was created for you, and thanks to you it continues.

We thank you for your active participation in the development of our site and for your belief in us.

Wish You Health and Prosperity, and May All Your Dreams Come True!

Regards,
ForUm

ForUm

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Interview with Victor Yushchenko

Posted by the Editor on December 31, 2005


News / 31 December 2005 | 11:09

Interview with Victor Yushchenko

Interview with Victor Yushchenko

In an interview to Ukrainian leading TV Channel, Victor Yushchenko said in 2006 Ukraine would buy Turkmen gas for USD 50.

“The price of Turkmen gas will be USD 50 and we will receive forty billion cubic meters, which is more than a half of our gas balance for the next year,” he noted, presedential press office reported.

The President added that this “issue was settled during absolutely friendly talks between the Presidents, and in ultimate understanding.”

“Moreover, we have agreed on prices for the next three years. So I would like to say no one can claim that this problem is unsolved,” he stressed.

Speaking about the political reform, which is to come into force January 1, 2006, Victor Yushchenko opined that the reform might cause the unbalanced and inefficient redistribution of powers.

As citizen of Ukraine, the Head of State said “the greatest risk” in this situation was “the delegation of authority to institutions that might inadequately ensure the stability and functioning of the whole state system.”

The President reiterated that he did not want to comment on this reform until January 1 not to provoke his opponents. 

“I want to remind all that I promised [not to resist the reform] and I will keep my promise. Until January 1, there will be no changes in what was approved and should be introduced,” he said, noting that this law should be thoroughly studied at the Constitutional Court.

He also said we might conduct a nationwide referendum to change the law. Yushchenko believes such important issues should “always be approved by common consent.”

“When we do a good thing, it should be done openly, and I am convinced we will find our advocates. If we do it secretly, this will be bad for Ukraine,” he stressed, adding that the “referendum issue will be broached later.”

In an interview Victor Yushchenko also touched the issue of the parliamentary elections. He stressed that all state officials taking part in next year’s campaign would have to take a temporary leave.

“There will be no problems here. You will see government demonstrate its virtues to make the people believe that it will not abuse power…,” he said. “I will do my best [to do it].”

Commenting on the expedience to form a parliamentary coalition now, the President said it was necessary to make the people find their way in “the multi-vector political situation” to understand which aims and values all these parties have.  

The Head of State said political forces should “unite around simple and clear principles to conduct fair elections and to guarantee electoral rights”. He believes these principles should be consistent with different political ideologies.

“We should say: we are Ukrainians and are responsible for conducting fair, transparent, and proper elections,” Yushchenko said.

The Head of State also stressed it “would be very good” if democratic forces “demonstrated beforehand that they would be politically responsible for making the parliamentary majority and introducing new reforms.”    

At the and of his speech Victor Yushchenko said some words about comming holidays. The President hopes to spend a few days of his winter holidays with the family in the Carpathians.

“I would like to take my five children, my wife and seven pairs of skis and to go to Huta in the Carpathians, and to go skiing in that meter-deep snow of the mountains for four or five days,” he said, adding that his schedule was “extremely busy and so holidays are unlikely.”

“I am scheduled to meet with three or four top officials at that time,” he said.

Addressing all viewers, the Head of State wished them Happy New Year and Merry Christmas, “Let this year be happy for each Ukrainian family and each of you. I am convinced we all deserve it.”

ForUm

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Russian action to be clear and decisive

Posted by the Editor on December 30, 2005


News / 30 December 2005 | 14:20

Russian action to be clear and decisive

Russian action to be clear and decisive

Russia will cut off gas supplies to Ukraine at 7 a.m. GMT January 1 if no contract is signed with the country, the chief executive of natural gas monopoly Gazprom said Friday, RIA Novosti informed.

“If Ukraine does not sign the contract for gas supplies in the hours remaining until the New Year, Russian natural gas supplies for Ukrainian consumers will be stopped at 10 a.m. Moscow time [7a.m. GMT],” Alexei Miller told the NTV television channel. “The actions will be clear and decisive.”

ForUm

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Ukraine to pay $65 per 1,000 cubic metres of Turkmen gas

Posted by the Editor on December 30, 2005


News / 30 December 2005 | 14:00

Ukraine to pay $65 per 1,000 cubic metres of Turkmen gas

Ukraine to pay $65 per 1,000 cubic metres of Turkmen gas

Turkmenistan will deliver 40 billion cubic meters of gas at a price of $65 per 1,000 cubic meters, Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov confirmed.

He said, as a result of the talks in Ashkhabad, Ukraine and Turkmenistan agreed to work on establishing joint ventures to develop energy resources of the right bank of the Amudarya River. According to RSN, the price of the Turkmen gas for Ukraine under the agreement signed is about $50 for 1,000 cubic meters. It is equal to the price Ukraine paid to Russia in 2005, Regnum informed.

Gazprom wants to raise the gas price for Ukraine almost five times and promises to cut off the gas supplies, if they do not manage to agree until the New Year.

ForUm

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The excerpts from the transcript of the meeting on deliveries of Russian gas to Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on December 30, 2005


News / 30 December 2005 | 13:40

The excerpts from the transcript of the meeting on deliveries of Russian gas to Ukraine

The excerpts from the transcript of the meeting on deliveries of Russian gas to Ukraine

PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN: Good afternoon, dear colleagues!

I would like to hear, I would like to listen to what you agreed on to resolve the problem that caused our Ukrainian colleagues and friends to come to Moscow yesterday.

IVAN PALCHKOV: Dear Vladimir Vladimirovich!

First of all I would like to thank you for this meeting and for giving us your time, and to pass along Viktor Andreevich [Yushchenko]’s best wishes for the coming New Year.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: Thank you.

IVAN PALCHKOV: Over the past two or three months experts from Naftogaz of Ukraine and Gazprom have discussed in detail various possibilities for our new energy relations concerning gas deliveries and gas transit. Today Gazprom’s experts are continuing work on the report, which determines the basic principles for the transition to new energy relations. We propose that such a transfer take place by 2006. Figures on the balance sheet, the volume of gas being sent through, and the volume of gas delivered to Ukraine to settle the balance will correspond with the agreements and contracts we have reached. Today we discussed the issue of increasing the possibilities of using Ukraine’s gas transport system, creating a joint venture to exploit gas in Ukraine together, and sharing our underground storage facilities.

The only issue that remains unresolved is prices.

<…>

VLADIMIR PUTIN: I would like to hear from the Russian side. Will the contract be signed or not?

VIKTOR KHRISTENKO: Today the only figure that neither party doubts is the possible volume of gas that could be delivered to Europe. This figure is no less than 110 billion cubic metres. The parties have not yet reached an agreement on any of the other figures-neither on the volume of deliveries nor on the prices.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: In this case I am quite worried about the deliveries of gas to Ukraine. I have no doubt that both Russian or Ukrainian parties are responsible enough so that nothing will interfere with the delivery of Russian energy to western consumers. But of course, in this case I would very much like to hear a more optimistic answer regarding gas deliveries to Ukraine, especially for Ukrainian consumers. I understand that the final agreements have not yet been reached.

VIKTOR KHRISTENKO: Up until now there aren’t any. Naturally we are ready to deliver gas to Ukrainian consumers. The problem lies with the agreement on prices, which has not yet been achieved.

VLADIMIR PUTIN: This is very bad, especially bad because already in March of this year with the President of Ukraine, Viktor Andreevich Yushchenko, we agreed on the transition to a market-based regime for payments in energy including

in the gas sphere. Since March there has been enough time to resolve all the necessary issues both at the level of government and at the level of corporations. Since March there has been plenty of time for this. It is simply surprising. You-I am now addressing Russian and Ukrainian participants in this meeting-have created a real crisis, and not only in the energy sector. This is like a crisis between two countries. This is very bad.

After all we recognize the fact that the market price is the benchmark European rate for last year and not the Ukrainian rate because we have never had market-based relations with Ukraine in this sphere. I think that this is perfectly clear to experts.

We are not going to talk about these formulas now even though they are well understood and, I repeat, clear-it is simply mathematics. They are linked to diesel oil and other kinds of energy resources. But what can we do about deliveries to Ukraine? Today this worries me most of all.

Incidentally, I completely agree with Viktor Andreevich [Yushchenko] that we must depoliticize this issue as much as possible, absolutely as much as possible. It is also necessary to arrive at a solution at the professional level as soon as possible. We simply don’t have any time. We must stop all press campaigns on this issue, and here I am addressing all participants in the process. We must stop frightening each other with our nationalists because if Russian and Ukrainian nationalists get together and want to celebrate New Year, travel to Paris, London or Brussels, either way they will not receive vodka, pickles, sausages, or bacon free of charge. In Kiev Russian representatives should not count on anything that is not market-based and in Moscow our Ukrainian partners should proceed according to market rules. And, by the way, it seems to me that only cooperating within a market-based regime will permit normal good relations between our countries in the future. Because only when we feel full independence, including economic independence, can we build normal intergovernmental relations. Our Ukrainian colleague has said that our Ukrainian partners consider a transition period necessary.

You know perfectly well what has been happening in this sphere over all these years. I am not speaking now about Russian investments in the Ukrainian economy over the last few years which are measured in billions of dollars. But let’s not go into that.

I simply want to tell you how lacking in transparency all this business has been over the last decade. All the barter, calculating gas at an undetermined price, considering some kinds of gas but not others, lack of clarity concerning to whom and how it is sold, and the volume that is re-exported-all this must be stopped. However, and of course I agree with you, we are in the process of developing our relations and should never put each other in a difficult situation.

Certainly we should give our Ukrainian partners the possibility of drawing up a budget and developing the economy in a way that would enable them to adapt to market-based relations. We are changing to market-based relations with practically all of our partners, both in Transcaucasia and the European part of the former Soviet Union-it’s the same for everyone.

Resolving the issue of decoupling internal Russian gas prices and Belarussian gas prices was a very difficult decision. We have done this. We shall also build further market-based relations with all countries, including Belarus. There we were in relatively familiar territory-we gave our Belarussian colleagues a loan to cover the difference between internal Russian prices and the prices at which we started to sell gas to Belarus. It is not comparable with the volume of financial resources required by Ukraine because in the Ukrainian case we expect it would be more than three billion dollars, more precisely three billion six hundred million dollars. Even on a Russian scale that’s a huge sum. We shall find this money and we are ready to offer either part or all of the necessary financial resources to our Ukrainian partners. If you want the full amount, certainly the loan will be given under market conditions but with as favourable a rate as possible. We understand that there are budgetary issues here and we do not want to put the Ukrainian budget in difficulty. I understand what a budgetary process is. We are ready to give a commercial loan directly to your company, Naftogaz of Ukraine. Of course it would have to be guaranteed by a first-rate American or European international bank. I hope that today the leadership of Ukraine is in a condition to receive such a guarantee.

For our part, it will require changes in the budget we just accepted. But I am confident that the overwhelming majority of Russian citizens will approve of such a step for Ukraine and that I can convince the deputies of the State Duma to make the necessary changes to the Russian budget.

<…>

 
ALEKSEI IVCHENKO: On behalf of Naftogaz of Ukraine I would like to assure you that Naftogaz will rigorously fulfil the conditions of our contract with Gazprom concerning sending Russian gas to Europe. For our part we will not violate the terms of the contract in any way.
 
 

ForUm

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Kyiv could up price for Russian Black Sea Fleet in gas dispute

Posted by the Editor on December 30, 2005


News / 30 December 2005 | 13:20

Kyiv could up price for Russian Black Sea Fleet in gas dispute

Kyiv could up price for Russian Black Sea Fleet in gas dispute

Prime Minister of Ukraine Yuriy Yekhanurov said Friday that Kiev could raise the rent Russia pays for naval bases on the Black Sea if the price of Russian natural gas supplies to Ukraine increases.

In comments that echoed recent statement by the Ukrainian leadership, Yekhanurov told a caller-in on a radio station that the rent hike would be a natural move, RIA Novosti informed.

Yekhanurov, however, ruled out any revision of the agreement on the Russia’s fleet stay in Ukraine.

“We are not reviewing any agreements,” he said, adding that the situation should not be politicized.

The prime minister also said that the matter concerned the appropriate use of property. “We do not want anybody, either in Ukraine or in Russia, to misuse anything, taking advantage of the situation,” he said.

The move comes against the backdrop of a bitter dispute between Russia and Ukraine over the price for Russian natural gas and transit fees for Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine.

ForUm

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President of Russia congratulates President of Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on December 30, 2005


News / 30 December 2005 | 13:00

President of Russia congratulates President of Ukraine

President of Russia congratulates President of Ukraine

President Putin sent his warm congratulations to President Yushchenko and all citizens of Ukraine.
 
In particular Volodymyr Putin wishes the coming year be the year of fast friendship and mutual understanding, Kremlin’s press office told.

ForUm

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Hungary is worried over gas conflict between Ukraine and Russia

Posted by the Editor on December 30, 2005


News / 30 December 2005 | 12:40

Hungary is worried over gas conflict between Ukraine and Russia

Hungary is worried over gas conflict between Ukraine and Russia

Hungary

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