The various-level meetings and talks recently held with the Ukraine on cooperation in the gas sector have indicated an inconsistent approach of the Ukrainian side towards settling issues in relation to the terms & conditions for Russian gas supply to and transit via the Ukraine.
Neglecting the accords previously achieved at the top level to switch over to paying for gas transit and supply in cash, at the prices and tariffs fitting with the European standards, which is fully in line with the international gas business principles, the Ukrainian side continues to insist on retaining the privileged terms for Russian gas imports over 2006 and virtually undermines signing the documents, which reliable Russian natural gas deliveries to Europe depend on.
So far the Ukraine hasn’t signed a Protocol to the Intergovernmental Agreement for 2006, which, in particular, should annually fix the price of Russian gas supply to the Ukraine and the tariff rate for gas transit to Europe.
The foot-dragging by the Ukrainian side puts in jeopardy uninterrupted Russian gas deliveries to Europe over 2006.
In its position of the European energy security guarantor, Gazprom is set to pay for gas transit via the Ukraine at European rates and suggests that the Ukrainian side should consider sealing a contract for Russian gas transit through the Ukraine as a matter of top priority.
Over the past five years the price of Russian gas has remained unchangeable for the Ukraine and accounted for US $50, with the benchmark price amounting to US $80. Within the same period gas prices in Europe practically doubled. The market gas price for the Ukraine calculated through the net back method (price of gas in a “basic” sales market excluding transmission expenses) exceeds US $160.