Ukraine's lower dependence on Russian gas is crucial change for Ukraine and Europe's security, - Wall Street Journal

The cut of Ukraine's Naftohaz company’s dependence on gas from Russia’s PAO Gazprom is a change crucial for Ukraine’s security, as well for Europe’s.

The Wall Street Journal reports, Censor.NET informs.

According to the medium, Naftohaz's head Koboliev "has worked to transform the creaking monopoly into a competitor in the regional energy market capable of generating needed cash."

"Naftohaz is a critical company not only for Ukraine's economic success, but also for European energy security," said Amos Hochstein, the U.S. special envoy for international energy affairs.

Read more: Ukraine may get $50 billion from Gazprom by arbitration's ruling, - Naftohaz

Despite the fact that the company's activities are hindered by the military conflict in the east of Ukraine, in two recent years Naftohaz managed to overcome significant financial challenges and reach some advancement, WSJ reports.

First, the share of Russian gas in Ukraine's import has slid from 92 percent in 2013 to 37 percent in 2015. Gazprom's gas has been replaced with import from Slovakia and other countries.

Second, after settling all accounts for 2015, Naftohaz is expected to cut its losses to 25 billion UAH in 2015 ($1 billion; in 2014 they were almost 90 billion UAH). This year, The Wall Street Journal writes, the company expects to break even.

Read more: Naftohaz files claims against Russia regarding its assets in occupied Crimea, - company's CEO Koboliev

The medium attributes such achievements of the company to its head Andrii Koboliev.

"To start, he has had to persuade residents to pay for gas, many for the first time. "You can either be in Turkmenistan, where you have free gas but low salaries and no freedom," he said, "or you can be in the European Union-style, but then the gas will be priced to market value. Sorry."," WSJ wrote.

According to the Wall Street Journal, "the 37-year-old chief executive also has sought to loosen the grip of business and political leaders on the company." However, he still regularly faces political and economic pressure from both national players and abroad.Источник: https://en.censor.net.ua/n387769