According to “Kommersant”, the upcoming Friday the 9th of December, the negotiations on gas between Russia, Ukraine and the EU, which will be held in Brussels after more than a year of absence, Kiev to resume purchases of Russian gas is going to insist that Moscow signed an Addendum to the contract with Gazprom, which had abolished the principle of take-or-pay.
The newspaper reminds that the last two months have repeatedly said the head of “Naftogaz” Andrey Kobelev. This principle is Ukrainian company challenged the Stockholm arbitration proceedings with Gazprom on a contract for the purchase of gas from 2009; hearing ended, and the arbitrators shall prepare a verdict expected in January-February.
According to sources of Kommersant, the Russian side, in turn, in exchange for the signing of the supplemental agreement may, in particular, raise the question of the abolition of the fine to $6.4 billion, which the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine has ordered “to Gazprom” for the alleged violations discovered at the “market of transit” through Ukraine.
Gazprom, the newspaper said, considers the penalty illegal, but Kiev’s attempts to seek recovery of the penalty in those countries where the Russian company has property, you can give her a lot of trouble. The Russian company is not ready to give Ukraine a discount because now the price of Russian gas is significantly lower than supply from the EU — approximately #182 versus $244 per thousand cubic meters 1
Sources in the market say that the negotiations, if the negotiating parties fail to reach agreement, likely to resume by the end of winter, when will we know the decision of the Stockholm arbitration. Also by this time the reserves in underground storage facilities of Ukraine will be significantly reduced, which will strengthen the position of Gazprom.
In tripartite negotiations December 9, will be attended by the head of the energy Ministry of Russia Alexander Novak and Chairman of the Board “Gazprom” Alexander Medvedev, the Minister of energy of Ukraine Igor Nasalik and the head of “Naftogaz of Ukraine” Andriy KOBOLEV. As emphasized earlier, the Vice-President of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic, the EU goal of negotiations is to provide “predictability and stability of gas supplies during the winter season.”
According to “Kommersant”, the harsh winter this year casts doubt on Ukraine’s ability to get through the cold season with a minimum of gas reserves in underground storages (UGS). This summer because of lack of money Kiev is not fully used the opportunities for gas injection into UGS in reverse from Europe, and eventually into underground storage facilities in Ukraine of 13.25 billion cubic meters, while the level of selection of them in October and November was 35% higher than last year.
According to the newspaper, negotiations with the EC, the Russian side indicates that, given the colder the winter, the consumption peaks in January-February in Ukraine can exceed the technical possibilities of extraction from underground storage facilities. Hence the need for procurement of 1.5-4 billion cubic meters of gas from Gazprom.