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Archive for December, 2005

Ukraine and Russia try to solve gas problem again

Posted by the Editor on December 30, 2005


News / 30 December 2005 | 12:25

Ukraine and Russia try to solve gas problem again

Ukraine and Russia try to solve gas problem again

Today Russian energy giant Gazprom and Ukrainian national gas company Naftogaz are to continue their attempts to solve a bitter dispute over natural gas supplies and transit, RIA Novosti told.

With the clock ticking before Gazprom’s January 1 deadline arrives, the two sides are set for decisive talks over the Russian concern’s decision to raise prices for natural gas to Ukraine to market levels if there is any chance of preventing its threat of turning off the taps to the neighboring country becoming a reality.

Russia and Ukraine failed to reach any agreement on Thursday. Russia offered a $3.6-billion loan to help Ukraine cover its expenses during the move to market prices, but Ukrainian leader Viktor Yushchenko rejected it, saying the country should “pay for itself.”

The dispute between Russia and Ukraine on supplies and transit of natural gas reached it peak after Gazprom proposed selling natural gas to Ukraine for $220-$230 per 1,000 cubic meters and threatened to cut off the supplies if Ukraine refused to sign a revised contract. Ukraine currently pays about $50 per 1,000 cubic meters under a barter agreement.

Although Russian President Vladimir Putin subjected senior managers in the two countries’ energy sectors to some stinging criticism Thursday – he all but accused them of creating a crisis in bilateral relations – Gazprom seems to be sticking to its guns.

Echoing previous statements from the monopoly’s leadership, spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov said the company would cut off the supplies of natural gas to Ukraine on January 1 if the parties failed to reach an agreement. “It is possible, and the tests that we conducted last week clearly confirmed it,” he said on Russian TV.

He said the Ukrainian proposals did not reflect the current market situation and prices on the European markets.

“They pay more than $250 everywhere,” he said. “The $65 or $80 offer is completely out of market range.”

In turn, Ukraine has said it will raise the transit fees Gazprom has to pay to send its gas to crucial European markets from $1.07 to $3.5 per 1,000 cu m per 100 km for the transit of Russian natural gas to Europe via Ukraine.

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President of Ukraine invites Turkmenbashi to Kyiv

Posted by the Editor on December 30, 2005


News / 30 December 2005 | 12:03

President of Ukraine invites Turkmenbashi to Kyiv

President of Ukraine invites Turkmenbashi to Kyiv

President Yushchenko invited Niyazov to pay an official visit to Kyiv at any time Turkmenbashi chose.

The representatives of Ukrainian delegation handed Yushchenko’s invitation personally to Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov. The delegation consists of Naftogaz Vice-President Volodymyr Petruk and Interbudmontazh President Anatoly Chizhov.

Ukrainian guests on behalf of the government of Ukraine expressed thanks to Turkmen President for steady attention to the development of Ukrainian-Turkmen relations which was proved by the bilateral agreement on Turkmen gas supply. Turkmenistan will supply 40 milliard of gas to Ukraine in 2006.

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Russia turned down 12 “gas proposals” of Ukraine

Posted by the Editor on December 30, 2005


News / 30 December 2005 | 11:40

Russia turned down 12 “gas proposals” of Ukraine

Thursday evening Russian Gazprom and Ukrainian Naftogaz finished regular round of gas negotiations with participation of Victor Khristenko, Russian Minister of industry and energy, and Ivan Plachkov, Ukrainian Minister for Fuel and Energy, during which Russian side had turned down all 12 proposals of Ukraine and sent its variant of gas agreement for 2006.

“At 10:30 p.m. we received a new variant of the contract from Gazprom and a new variant of protocol between two governments. The working group remained (in Moscow -ed.), Minister Ivan Plachkov and head of Naftogaz Oleksiy Ivchenko came back… Unfortunately, all 12 articles of Ukrainian side were not accepted,” said PM of Ukraine Yuri Yekhanurov in an interview to “Era” radio Friday.

 “I don’t want to talk about propositions of Russian side. But a new aspect appeared, very interesting one – Khristenko noted that they would like to replace Turkmen gas by Russian one,” noted Ukrainian Premier.

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Ukraine’s market economy status comes into force

Posted by the Editor on December 30, 2005


News / 30 December 2005 | 11:18

Ukraine's market economy status comes into force

Ukraine’s market economy status comes into force

Today the market economy status given by the EU to Ukraine has taken legal effect, the Official Journal of the European Union informs.

The Council Regulation of 21 December 2005 amending Regulation (EC) No 384/96 on protection against dumped imports from countries not members of the European Community, the Council of the European Union, having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Community, and in particular Article 133 thereof, having regard to the proposal from the Commission, whereas:

(1) By Regulation (EC) No 384/96 (1) the Council adopted common rules for protection against dumped imports from countries which are not members of the European Community.

(2) In view of the very significant progress made by Ukraine towards the establishment of market economy conditions, as recognised by the conclusions of the Ukraine-European Union Summit on 1 December 2005, it is appropriate to allow normal value for Ukrainian exporters and producers to be established in accordance with the provisions of Article 2(1) to (6) of Regulation (EC) No 384/96, has adopted this regulation:

Article 1: In Regulation (EC) No 384/96, in the first sentence of Article 2(7)(b), the term ‘the Ukraine’ shall be deleted.

Article 2: This Regulation shall apply to all investigations initiated pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 384/96 after the date of entry into force of this Regulation, either on the basis of an application for initiation lodged after such date, or at the initiative of the Commission.

Article 3: This Regulation shall enter into force on the seventh day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.

This Regulation shall be binding in its entirety and directly applicable in all Member States.

Done at Brussels, 21 December 2005.

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"Ukraine to pay $75 for Russian gas"

Posted by the Editor on December 30, 2005


News / 30 December 2005 | 10:28

"Ukraine to pay $75 for Russian gas"

"Ukraine to pay $75 for Russian gas"

In a brief interview for reporters, Victor Yushchenko said he believed the fair price of Russian gas in Ukraine should be $75-80 for one thousand cubic meters, the President’s press office told.

“Each year this price will change in accordance with the European pricing formula,” he noted.

The Head of State reiterated that Ukraine currently paid $50 for one thousand cubic meters and had already bought 1.5 billion cubic meters for $80.

“Thus this year the market price of Russian gas has been $65. We correlated it with coal prices, which had been raised by 17%, and oil prices … and easily concluded that an objective price of Russian gas in the Ukrainian market should be $75-80,” he stressed.

Yushchenko added that it was really important to honestly negotiate the gas prices and the terms of transit and transition.

The President said he appreciated all initiatives of the two sides at today’s talks in Moscow and noted that the Ukrainian delegation had arrived in Russia “not empty-handed.” The Head of State said he was convinced that it was only a culmination of the talks.

“I am sure we will step by step build a harmonized gas and transit economy,” he emphasized.

Yushchenko noted that it was, in fact, our initiative to develop liberalized relations in the gas market.

“We would like to apply European methods in the transit of Russian gas to Europe. […],” he said.

The President then stressed Ukraine and Russia should agree on a new schedule of gas deliveries and discuss new principles to use our gas depots.

“It is absolutely European to deliver gas in time, providing pressure in the gas main, […],” he claimed.

The President also noted that Ukraine did not need any credits to buy Russian gas and said we would pay our own money but “[it should be] a clear, proper and objective price of a transition period.”

The Head of State said Ukraine aimed to reach an agreement on gradual transition to liberalized gas prices and added that it might take up to three years. Yushchenko is, however, convinced the sides will eventually understand the importance of the transition period.

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Ukraine refused from Russian credit

Posted by the Editor on December 29, 2005


News / 29 December 2005 | 21:54

Ukraine refused from Russian credit

Ukraine refused from Russian credit

Ukrainian President Victor Yushchenko has turned down the Russian president’s offer of a $3.6 billion loan to finance its Russian natural gas imports at market prices in 2006.

“Ukraine will pay for itself,” Yushchenko told reporters, adding he was grateful to the Russian leader for the offer.

He said the gas price should be “appropriately fixed and reasonable for Ukraine.”

In his turn, Ihor Tarasyuk, head of State Affairs department, noted that “Kyiv can not accept the proposition of Russian side.” Once again he underlined that Kyiv does not recognize the price $230, but if the price is $80 or $50, no credit will be needed.

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Putin offers Ukraine $3.6 billion of credit to pay for gas

Posted by the Editor on December 29, 2005


News / 29 December 2005 | 16:45

Putin offers Ukraine $3.6 billion of credit to pay for gas

Putin offers Ukraine $3.6 billion of credit to pay for gas

(RIA Novosti) Russian President Vladimir Putin met Thursday with participants of Ukrainian-Russian gas negotiations and criticized the Russian and Ukrainian energy sectors for turning a dispute over prices for natural gas into a crisis between the two countries.

“You have created a crisis not only in the energy sector,” Putin said. “This crisis looks more like crisis between two countries.”

In this connection Russia has offered Ukraine $3.6 billion to cover expenses on the move to market prices for natural gas, the Russian president said Thursday.

“We are ready to grant a loan directly to Naftogaz to be secured by a leading international bank, either European or American,” President Vladimir Putin told participants in Russian-Ukrainian gas talks.

In his turn, Russia’s minister of industry and energy noted that Russia and Ukraine have not yet agreed on terms for gas deliveries and transit.

“We are working on three documents – two contracts [on gas transit and deliveries] and an underlying intergovernmental protocol for 2006,” Viktor Khristenko said at a meeting between the Russian president and gas negotiators.

“For the moment, the only undisputed figure is the volume of possible gas transit to Europe – at least 110 billion cubic meters,” Khristenko said.

As for the other figures, including both the volume of deliveries and price, the sides have not yet reached an agreement, the minister said.

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Yekhanurov: Ukraine is interested in CEA and CIS

Posted by the Editor on December 29, 2005


News / 29 December 2005 | 16:20

Ukraine is interested in CEA and CIS

Yekhanurov: Ukraine is interested in CEA and CIS

Yuri Yekhanurov, Prime Minister of Ukraine, points out Ukraine’s interest in formation of Common Economic Area with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan.

“We have started an avtive work with the framework of Common Economic Area,” said Yekhanurov speaking out in Luhansk.

He noted that Ukraine is working at 93 draft documents, Interfax-Ukraine reported. According to Yekhanurov, 10-12 documents has been agreed, and Ukraine is ready to sign them at any moment. Besides, there are no fundamental disagreements in other five-six documents and their approval is in process. Other documents need to be revised.

Ukraine‘s PM also underlined Ukraine’s interest in Commonwealth of Independent States and in effectiveness of mechanisms of this organization.

Earlier Yekhanurov declared that he would ask Vladimir Putin, presiding over CIS, to influence Russia for gradual switch to European payment for gas.

“I have an idea to appeal to Vladimir Putin, presiding over CIS, with the request to influence one of CIS members – Russian Federation – to assist Ukraine in stage-by-stage switch to market relations in gas sphere,” said Yekhanurov. He noted that the corresponding letter would be signed either by the President of Ukraine or the Prime Minister.

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