- Posted April 23, 2012 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Surging gas prices
Russia failed to deliver more than a billion cubic metre of gas for EU
Recently at a meeting between the President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev and the Chairman of the Open Society Gazprom, Alexey Miller declared that unauthorized withdrawal of transit gas by Ukraine has caused financial and reputational damage to the Russian gas monopolist.
It seems like again the Russian party made decision to impose responsibility for the internal power problems on shoulders of Ukraine and the European consumers. Early February a number of the European countries, such as Italy, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia complained of considerable reduction of deliveries of the Russian gas (which in some days reached 30 %). Right away Russia accused Ukraine, in the name of its National JSC Naftogaz of Ukraine, of withdrawal of the gas intended to the European consumers. Traditionally, January and February are the coldest months of year in Russia, thereafter, internal consumption of gas and other power resources raises. As the Russian gas-transport system worked in an extreme mode (it is impossible to pump over through a pipe beyond its pumping capacity), Russia faced a choose: either to provide contract volumes of deliveries of fuel to Europe or to provide with heat of the Russian consumer. Everybody knows that pumping volumes of gas vary within a quarter. When weather conditions had improved and, accordingly, consumption of gas had decreased, Gazprom increased contract volume of deliveries, actually not violating contract obligations. As Acting Chairman of board of Gazprom, Andrey Kruglov, later admitted, that reduction in gaz export really took place and made, in his opinion, about 10 %. Gazprom declared the full restoration of gas deliveries to the European countries at the end of February after alleviating the problem.
Ukraine, in its turn, has rejected at once all charges from Gazprom. The Vice-President of the Board of Naftogaz of Ukraine Vadim Chuprun considers the Ukrainian partners haven’t withdrawn any cubic metre of the Russian transit gas. This was officially declared to the Russian side and proved with the corresponding documents. According to Vadim Chuprun, from February, 1 - 21, the underdelivery of natural gas to the gas transportation system of Ukraine has made 1 billion 247 million cubic metre of gas. That is right the same volume that Europe has received less. All these proofs about gas short delivery have been collected and sent to the Head of Gazprom, A. Miller.
Some experts believe that in cold winter Russian Gazprom deliberately failed to provide piping of gas to Europe to make a show of strength. Thus, the Russian gas monopolist has actually taken advantage of the successful moment to show to the European partners: «you don’t accept the high prices for the Russian gas, - will look, how you can manage without it».
It is necessary to give due, that in this difficult situation Ukraine has once again offered a helping hand both to Europe and Russia, proposing to use gas from the underground gas storehouses. The Prime minister of Ukraine Azarov has declared that Ukraine without damage to itself can facilitate Gazprom in supplying European consumers the additional volume of gas during unexpectedly tightened period of strong frosts.
And though the management of Gazprom with delay, but nevertheless recognized reduction of deliveries of gas to the European consumers, justifying it with necessity to meet its internal requirements (when in Russia presidential campaign left on a home straight), - Ukraine was guilty! Groundlessness charges indirectly are proved to be true by Gazprom’s management: the Russian side both has not formalized documentary the financial claims till now apropos ostensibly unauthorized withdrawal of transit gas...
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