Putin, Novak, Merkel and EU: great maneuvers around Ukraine
Jul 21, 2018 10:15 pm
Russian Energy Minister Novak: “Moscow could extend the agreement on the transit of gas from Ukraine”
Everything that bears in the womb the Ukraine case, with the Russian claims, of Kiev (and American), and those of Europe, pass from the gas. The statement by the Russian Energy Minister Aleksander Novak, for whom Moscow could extend the agreement on the transit of gas from Ukraine if the Stockholm dispute is resolved, break the immobility. The new course already has some arrow available: the trilateral Russia-Ukraine-EU negotiations of the past week have been judged by all three protagonists “the best ever”. Europe does not reconcile on the North Stream 2, Putin offered the “new referendum” charter to resolve a conflict that until today has caused the death of 2,500 civilians and crowded 600 thousand people on the so-called “contact line” 475 kilometers long, which in fact represents the new internal border between Ukraine and the Donbass. So we start from the dispute in Stockholm according to which the Arbitration Court Gazprom has to pay Naftogaz $ 4.6 billion for undelivered gas (then down to 2.56 billion). But the Russians are in credit with Kiev for supplies disbursed in the 2014-2016 three-year period, unpaid by Ukraine and not even guaranteed by the EU, which on this point has kept faith with the “who spends the pay” principle. The point is that Naftogaz as a rule would have had to receive up to 20 million cubic meters a day and did not receive them: for this he asked the utilities to cut internal consumption drastically. Moscow is aiming to drive Ukraine away with the new Nord Stream and the Turkish Stream, and the markets remain in full swing. The affirmation of Novak breaks on this scenario by changing the positions in the field and allowing the EU to gain some negotiating space. Brussels, despite being heavily dependent on Russian gas, has married the Ukrainian line, but now has to face the node related to the scenarios post 2019 in case of a contract absence. How will the EU use Russian gas (while waiting for the new pipelines being processed on the Russian side and the new ones such as Tap and Eastmed to operate)? On this point, the Commission is called upon to stimulate the two parties involved to find a path that leads to a sustainable economic solution. On July 17, the trilateral summit in Berlin was held by the EU, which was attended by the two big names of the scene: Alexei Miller, CEO of Gazprom, and Andrei Kobolev, CEO of Naftogaz: interpreted as an encouraging sign of dialogue for the negotiations. This proposal includes Putin’s proposal to Trump concerning a referendum, with the “coda” represented by a softening of the trumpian positions on the case. In fact, at the end of the summit he said on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline “I’m not sure it’s in Germany’s best interest, but this is the decision taken by the Germans”, changing the course with respect to what he had observed some time ago. T Brussels appreciates the passage, as it emerged from the positive words pronounced by the Vice President of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic who saw a “strong willingness to focus on the future”. A solution for Ukraine serves the Ukrainians themselves. At least one million Ukrainians use check-points to cross the red line and enjoy basic services such as welfare and access to medical care. It emerges that out of 4 million Ukrainians living with the war a third person is old, with all the consequences of the case. As the data (relating to 2017) in which over 600 thousand pensioners have failed to access essential social services and the discomfort of the inhabitants of entire areas without electricity or water filters.
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