Ukrainian Politics, Economics

 Gazprom Wants Legislation on Ukrainian GTS Lease, Source in Ministry of Energy

The latest visit of President Viktor Yanukovych in Moscow, where he planned to sign a new agreement on the purchase of gas, yielded no results because of Gazprom’s demand to legalize the possibility of renting the Ukrainian GTS, said a source in the Ministry of Energy close to the negotiations.

Kommersant Ukraine writes that "Art. 7 of the law "On Pipeline Transport" prohibits rent, concession or lease of the GTS," reminded the source. "Gazprom demands for the law to be changed by the Parliament."

The press service of Gazprom does not officially comment on the talks, saying only that it is premature to talk about specific decisions. "Agreement is when a contract has been signed. But it is not signed", - stated in the press service of the company. However, a source in Gazprom has confirmed that the monopoly insists on changes in legislation. "If Ukraine manages to make the necessary changes in the law before June 1, the price of gas can be reduced retroactively from January 1, 2013 to $ 260 per thousand cubic meters (now it is $ 426)," says the source.

Last year, by June 1, Naftogaz imported approximately 10.15 billion cubic meters from Russia for $ 4.25 billion, reminds Kapital analyst Vitalii Kriukov. Given the volume of purchases of Ostchem deliveries from Russia amounted to 12.8 billion cubic meters. m to $ 5.36 billion if the volume of imports in January-May this year will remain at last year's level, at the current price by 1 June Naftogaz has to Gazprom of about $ 4.3 billion, and with the Ostchem Ukraine - $ 5 45 billion, however, at $ 260, and the same volume of imports, Naftogaz will have to pay about $ 2.64 billion, with sovmenstno Ostchem Ukraine - $ 3,33 billion, "That is for Naftogaz potential savings could be $ 1.68 billion, and with Ostchem - $ 2,12 billion," says Kriukov.

The Energy Ministry claims to have offered Gazprom transfer options of lease without changes in the legislation. In particular, the same art. 7 of the Law "On Pipeline Transport" says that if a private company is investing in the construction of new gas pipelines, it acquires the status of the investor and, according to the law "On Production Sharing Agreements", becomes a party to such an agreement to build a pipeline right to produce and use. "Basically, through this point we might as well create a consortium in which Gazprom will invest in the construction of new pipelines and upgrading old ones. We told the Russian side, but they insist that the decisions were made by the Verkhovna Rada," says the source in the Ministry.

Today, Ukraine and Russia are discussing the establishment of the consortium on a parity basis. Gazprom has to get control of the GTS, with undertakes to transport at least 60 billion cubic meters per year and guarantees payment for transit services. The price of gas for Ukraine in this case shall be reduced to $ 260-280 per thousand cubic meters. Later this information was confirmed by the Russian Ambassador to Ukraine Mikhail Zurabov.

It was expected that the relevant agreements will be signed in the course of last week's visit by President Viktor Yanukovych in Moscow. However, after the talks the President stressed that the gas issue is still being worked at the government level of the two countries, including leading consulting companies and international funds. "The important thing is the formation of fair prices of gas for Ukraine," said Yanukovych. He reported that a meeting of the Presidents of Ukraine and Russia is to take place after this work is done.

It seems that "Gazprom" wants legal guarantees of GTS lease in case of change of power in the country, says Director of the Institute of Energy Strategy Dmytro Marunich. "The Russian monopoly tends to have a guarantee that the GTS will remain in the lease, even if the President of Ukraine is, for example, Svoboda leader Oleh Tiahnybok," says the expert. President of the Penta Center for Applied Political Studies Volodymyr Fesenko says that the authorities now have a chance to pass the relevant bill in the Verkhovna Rada. "They have a majority in the Parliament, and upon loss of the parliamentary mandate by Serhii Vlasenko - all possible levers to unlock the Parliament," says Fesenko.

Источник: https://en.censor.net.ua/n235479