Nov 7, 2021
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Thieves and scoundrels everywhere: “Pipe” ruined the life of the elite

Thieves and scoundrels everywhere: "Pipe" ruined the life of the elite

Photo: Valery Sharifulin / TASS

Ukraine could not buy, but export gas, if not for the “thieves and scoundrels” from Naftogaz. This “terrible secret” was publicly revealed by a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada from the “servants of the people” faction Artem Dimitruk

Speaking recently on the air of one of the local TV channels, he said that the country, it turns out, illegally produces billions of cubic meters of blue fuel, which is so dearly valued all over the world today. According to the parliamentarian’s calculations, this is 34 billion cubic meters.

Such volumes, according to Dimitruk, would be enough to supply the population and industry of Ukraine. And at least another 4 billion cubic meters could be exported.

The problem is that “the mining industry is one of the most corrupt, where you can steal the most.” Which, as he is sure, is encouraged by the Naftogaz company, as well as by its chairman of the board Yuri Vitrenko, whose stay in this position is ensured only thanks to “cool schemes and kickbacks” to the office of the President of Ukraine.

The revelations of Dimitruk’s “servant”, and in fact a rebellion against “their own”, did not go unnoticed in the pro-presidential party. And the “renegade” has already been threatened with expulsion from its ranks – this question is the head of the “Servant of the People” faction David Arahamia intends to pick up this coming week.

At the same time, no one, to all appearances, is going to find out whether Dimitruk’s words correspond to the real state of affairs in the gas sector of the “Square”.

Meanwhile, according to the company “Operator GTS of Ukraine”, in 2020 the country produced 20 billion cubic meters of gas. And where fourteen more “flowed away” is a big question – of course, if they really were obtained, and are not a figment of the imagination of the Ukrainian parliamentarian.

And, judging by the recent statement of the NSDC secretary Danilova, which promised to save Europe from the cold with additional supplies of 55 billion cubic meters of gas, the imagination of local officials and politicians is quite rich. After all, except in Russia, they have nowhere to take this gas.

Of the 88 power units of Ukrainian thermal power plants, only 37 are currently operating. And in a number of regions, due to lack of fuel, an emergency regime is already being introduced.

Meanwhile, it is not the first time that talks about the transformation of “square” into a “gas giant of Europe” have been conducted. Three years ago, the Ukrainian Institute of the Future even made calculations on the basis of which, in 2021, the country had to completely abandon gas imports and cover its needs by increasing its own production. And by 2030, the home experts of “Nezalezhnaya” predicted it a 15% share in the European market, with export volumes of more than 60 billion cubic meters.

Only something didn’t grow together. And the desires again did not coincide with the possibilities …

This kind of “fables” Denis Denisov, Associate Professor of the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation also named the statement about billions of “secret” cubic meters of gas:

– Ukraine currently produces about 18 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Where the figure of 34 billion cubic meters came from is a big mystery.

If it were so, then Ukraine would long ago independently become an exporter of gas, make money on it, and it would not have such problems in relations with Gazprom and the Russian Federation.

But, according to experts, it can increase production up to a maximum of 23 billion cubic meters, and even then, if modernization is carried out and sufficiently large financial resources are invested in the extractive industry.

So the situation here for Ukraine is rather complicated. Although, in principle, its own production would be enough to provide the population with gas and the normal functioning of housing and communal services.

But here the traditional Ukrainian mechanisms are involved, connected with the fact that the lion’s share of this gas, which, naturally, is much cheaper than gas from outside, is bought by industrial companies. And, it is clear that it cannot do without a corruption component. Because large financial and industrial groups, through their protégés, through various schemes, take away the bulk of cheap gas in order to then be able to receive super-profits for themselves from the products they produce.

This is all very obvious. And, of course, this should be done by the Ukrainian authorities in order to prevent such things. But she is not interested, because, as we can see, there is a certain consensus between the authorities and representatives of big business.

Taking into account spot prices and a decrease in transit volumes through the territory of Ukraine, it can be assumed that the problem with gas will probably be one of the main problems of the country in the coming winter period. However, the Ukrainian authorities always have the opportunity to try to resolve it if Kiev resolves these issues in a more or less constructive manner with the Russian side.

Crimean political scientist Vladimir Dzharalla, in turn, believes that the subtext of the Ukrainian deputy’s statement testifies, first of all, to serious internal Ukrainian squabbles around the Naftogaz company:

– Yes, Ukraine has small reserves of natural gas, which they even try to extract and export. But these stocks are not commercially viable.

Actually, in each country, if you wish, you can find reserves of oil, gas or some other valuable minerals. But the truth is that the amount of Ukrainian gas is so minimal that its production becomes simply unprofitable. That is, it is underway, but has little commercial value.

However, there is one point to consider.

The fact is that, like any other oil and gas company, Naftogaz sells part of its raw materials in foreign markets. These volumes vary from year to year. And this is where the fun begins …

“SP”: – Explain.

– The fact is that people are at the head of these processes, and any Ukrainian official and manager will never do something that does not bring him personal benefit. Moreover, sometimes we are talking about things that are striking from the point of view of common sense.

For example, in the winter of 2006-2007, the so-called “first gas war” began between Russia and Ukraine. After the “orange” coup d’etat, the West’s protege president Viktor Yushchenko turned out to be a very weak manager, but an ardent Russophobe. In particular, he ordered to revise all the previous, as they said, “disadvantageous” agreements with Russia. As a result, they destroyed a gas agreement, which was very beneficial for Ukraine, with their own hands.

The outbreak of the crisis hit Europe, causing real panic there. And it was the first “bell” of how far the crisis phenomena in Russian-Ukrainian relations had gone.

So, even at a time when the cities of Ukraine were sitting without gas in the cold winter, and people were literally freezing, Ukraine was supplying gas abroad for export. The reason is extremely cynical – the price on the world markets rose sharply, and Kiev wanted to get additional income.

“SP”: – So they sold their gas or Russian gas from storage?

– They sold everything – both the one that was mined on the territory of Ukraine itself, and the one that was pumped into storage.

Now, as you might guess, nothing has changed much.

Tight control has been established over the Naftogaz company by the office of the President of Ukraine – this is clear. The company is seen as one of the most important sources of income for the ruling elite. In addition, as a resource that can be used during the upcoming new presidential campaign.

As a result, we have recently witnessed various scandals around Naftogaz.

As for illegal schemes for the production and sale of gas, they undoubtedly exist. If, say, you understand the available data, you will be surprised to find that there is a certain amount of export volumes of gas in Ukraine at any time. Where it comes from and how it is exported is easy to guess – we are talking simply about manipulating numbers and concepts.

But this whole scheme is currently in a state of crisis, since Russia is leaving Ukraine’s pipeline blackmail: they say, “You will not go anywhere, we will still receive this gas, it will go through us, and we can keep some of it for ourselves.” … Simply put, steal.

Now the situation has changed dramatically, but the Ukrainian leadership does not draw any conclusions. And instead of mending relations, or at least putting things in order in their economy, they still adhere to an exclusively hostile line towards Russia and make some fantastic plans.

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