Apr 26, 2022
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Maneuvers around transit: Ukraine is trying to “steer” both Europe and Gazprom

Maneuvers around transit: Ukraine is trying to

Photo: Alexander Ryumin / TASS

Russian natural resources have become a bargaining chip in someone else’s geopolitical game

He’s got some news head spinning. For example: the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine may increase by 29% – up to 68.4 million cubic meters. At the same time, Ukraine receives big money from Russia for transit. Approximately three billion dollars a year.

What happens: the Armed Forces of Ukraine shell Russian territory, and we let Kyiv earn on the pipe?

The news shocked netizens.

“Somehow it’s not very good. The EU imposes sanctions, steals our state reserves, and we give them gas.”

“Since January, they have been writing and writing that this or that country has gas left for either 40 or 30 days. And they both used our gas and use it, ”outraged comments rained down as if from a cornucopia.

The situation is indeed strange. But we have to admit that, unfortunately, Russia has little room for maneuver. Gazprom is tightly squeezed into the vise of contracts. According to its earlier commitments, it must deliver a certain amount of gas to Europe. Under these volumes, I booked a pipe, and now I am obliged to pump gas in accordance with the reservation. So we will supply gas and pay for transit. But the fact that Ukraine will be given something in excess of what is stipulated by the contracts is out of the question.

It’s just that in February and March, despite the start of a special operation, transit through Ukraine was carried out at the maximum of Gazprom’s contracts. In April, it got warmer in Europe, and they began to pump less. And since April 16, transit has generally been halved in relation to the contract armor of Gazprom. Now let’s catch up.

Ukraine, by the way, has no worries about such fluctuations: contracts for the transit and supply of gas are a complicated thing, they are drawn up in such a way as to exclude as much as possible any kind of initiative of all interested parties and ensure their literal execution. So, even pumping a smaller amount of blue fuel, Russia paid for transit in full.

Political scientist Bohdan Bespalko I am sure that Russia intends to clearly fulfill its obligations on gas supplies to the European Union. Moreover, the European Commission, in the end, went to meet us even in the issue of paying for gas according to the scheme proposed by the Russian side. As for Ukraine, it is also interested in gas transit. Supply disruptions would be a big shock for her. Billions of dollars are not superfluous.

“Now the problem of ensuring the safety of the gas pipeline comes to the fore. If something happens to the pipe, the European Union will suffer in this case, and Ukraine will be to blame. But Kyiv cannot properly control the territory of the country, some radical groups are in charge there. Nevertheless, in any case, the current government of Ukraine will be responsible. And all claims will be against him. And we are responsible for gas only to the Russian-Ukrainian border.

The expert emphasized that there is a certain third force, which would benefit from having problems with gas transit. It is not difficult to guess that we are talking about the United States.

– For Washington, the weakening of the European Union, including by depriving it of gas supplies through Ukraine and Nord Stream 1 and 2, is very beneficial. After all, in this way he would have weakened his economic competitor. In addition, the United States could put Europe on its liquefied natural gas. But here it is important that this LNG will cost Europeans more than Russian gas.

And the political component cannot be discounted. Here the Germans, clearly under pressure from America, are refusing to launch Nord Stream 2. And now, if something happens to the Ukrainian pipe, they (and half of Europe) will either have to cook without gas, or pay exorbitant prices for LNG.

If the homeland Schiller I Goethe was more independent in decision-making, then, of course, the Germans would have launched Nord Stream 2. This decision would be explained by the high risk of gas transit through Ukraine. And as a result, Germany would receive gas in large volumes through the new pipeline, and even sell it throughout Europe. She would have strengthened her leadership position, because most countries would have become dependent on the gas supplied through it. But, alas, it didn’t work out.

It turns out that Russia has become a hostage to a situation where our resources are becoming a bargaining chip in other people’s geopolitical games. And it will not be possible to break this vicious circle, observing one’s own interests: breaking or not fulfilling contracts with the EU countries would result in serious financial losses.

I wouldn’t be dramatic. It is fundamentally wrong to believe that we are in a hopeless situation. political scientist Sergei Markov. — We continue strategic relations with Europe, demonstrating our reliability and flexibility. This will definitely be taken into account in the future.

As for Ukraine, its profit from transit is completely incomparable with the huge funds poured into it by Western countries under the guise of aid.

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