Matiyeshyn on Europe, through a Ukrainian eye

“Gazprom” and Bulgaria have concluded the definitive investment agreement about the “South stream”. The document became the last necessary condition for the full coordination of the project of the pipeline with countries-participants.

“Gazprom” has predictably overcome the last barriers to the construction in terms of diversification of natural gas export routes. For the realization of the overland part of the project the Russian monopolist has in its disposition the signed intergovernmental agreements with Bulgaria, Serbia, Hungary, Greece, Slovenia, Croatia and Austria. Ukraine can write down all these countries into the core group of failures of its foreign policy.

The declared project capacity of the sea site of the gas pipeline will make up 63 billion cubic meters per year. And the approximate cost of construction of the whole gas pipeline is estimated around 15,5 billion euro, out of which about 10 billion euro is earmarked for the sea site. As for today it is basically not important where such volumes of gas will appear from. The main point is whether they are necessary for Europe which has decided to head for the reduction of consumption of the Russian gas. The reality of international relations is first of all dictated by the economic benefit. In this context Russia and Europe show the mutual approach in relation to Ukraine.

The question is different. All listed above countries simply don’t perceive Ukraine as the state in the geopolitical sense. Probably, the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has another thought in this respect. However, it depends on the present authorities which thanks to the parliamentary elections have received another term for the confirmation of democracy in the country.

Meanwhile, as for today Russia has all economic levers of influence upon Ukraine. Europe, in turn, is sure that it will receive the minimum necessary volumes of Russian gas through the gas-transport system of Ukraine. The previous accusations in “winter” thefts of gas by Ukraine testify to the realization of the long-term strategy of forcing it out, as the energy player. The last trump of Ukraine – the gas-transport system – becomes not topical. This process was promoted by the mutual tacit consent of Russia and Europe upon the unilateral buying up of all internal gas distribution networks of Ukraine. After the end of this process Ukraine as the state is going to be excluded from the negotiating process between Europe and Russia. It is always easier to conduct negotiations with several pro-ruling groups which know how to count money. It is easier to buy their assets which have already gone through all legislative coordination.

And average Ukrainians, as always, are historically doomed to suffer from another increase of tariffs for energy carriers.


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