The completion of the construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline caused a storm of delight among the Kremlin propagandists. Dear Russians were once again informed (already many times over the past seven years) that the damned Bandera would finally freeze! Or at least they will be left with empty pockets, having lost Russian gas transit. However, the owner of the sovereign agitprop broke off all hopes, speaking on October 6, 2021 at the Kremlin meeting on energy development:
“Our contractual obligations for deliveries through the Ukrainian gas transportation system are 40 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Over the nine months of this year, Gazprom has increased these supplies, this pumping, more precisely, through the transport system of Ukraine by more than eight percent [согласно показателям оператора „ГТС Украины“ с 30,46 до 33,15 млрд кубометров или на 8,83% – Ю.Н.]… And we can say with confidence that we will exceed our contractual obligations for gas supplies through the territory of Ukraine … Gazprom believes that it is more economically expedient, it would be more profitable even to pay a fine to Ukraine, but to increase the volume of pumping through the new systems precisely because of the circumstances about which I said: the pressure is higher in the pipe, the emission of CO2 into the atmosphere is less, everything turns out cheaper – under three billion dollars a year. But I ask you not to. It is necessary to fully comply with the contractual obligations for the transit of pumping our gas through the territory of Ukraine, through the GTS of Ukraine. First, there is no need to put anyone in a difficult position, including Ukraine, despite all the moments associated with Russian-Ukrainian relations today. And secondly, there is no need to undermine confidence in Gazprom as a reliable, absolutely reliable partner in all respects. “
The presidential thesis about undermining confidence sounds strange, since with a reduction in transit volume, Ukraine does not lose anything, just as it did not lose after the transfer of Russian gas supplies to Hungary bypassing its territory. The Russian-Ukrainian gas agreement of December 20, 2019 turned out to be extremely beneficial for Kiev. In exchange for refusing further claims in the Stockholm Arbitration, Ukraine received $ 2.9 billion, a debt write-off of another $ 2.1 billion and a guarantee of maintaining transit through its territory for at least five years. In 2020, Moscow pledged to pay for pumping 65 billion cubic meters of gas, and 40 in subsequent years. If more, then for excess – additional money.
That is, the Kiev regime puts into a “difficult position” not the violation of the contract by Gazprom, but its strict observance with the refusal of transit in excess of the agreed volume. Although even now, before the commissioning of Nord Stream 2, Russia, according to the president himself, can easily reduce Ukrainian transit to a minimum, on the contrary, it pays more, losing $ 3 billion a year. And not the first time.
As of March 2014, Russian gas cost Ukraine $ 268.5 per thousand cubic meters, but only in case of timely payment of current supplies and payment of existing debt. Ukraine continued to underpay, and moreover, with the annexation of Crimea, there was no need to make a discount for basing our Black Sea Fleet on the peninsula. In April Gazprom raised the price to 485 American rubles, the Maidan regime, which had not yet consolidated its position in power, was threatened with collapse, and then the good Vladimir Vladimirovich intervened:
“This exactly corresponds to the contract, but at the same time, given the difficult situation in which Ukraine is located and the incompleteness of our negotiation process with the European Union, I would ask the government and Gazprom to refrain from using these opportunities. <…> up to additional consultations, if, of course, our partners agree to these consultations. “
The partners agreed, the price was lowered to $ 365, but the Russian president continued to worry. As stated at the Valdai Forum:
“I had to put pressure on Gazprom, I apologize to the shareholders, and ask Gazprom not to insist on this money ($ 5.3 billion at the rate of $ 485 per thousand cubic meters – Interfax). Let them pay at least $ 3.5 billion – and then you’ll figure it out. ”
Ukraine paid $ 3.1 billion and received gas at a price reduced by Putin, and in some places for free, as according to his order in the winter of 2016 in Genichesk. The proceedings in Stockholm ended with the cancellation of the remaining debt and compensation for almost everything paid.
However, you will not be full of gas alone. The punitive operation in Donbass required fuel for tanks and artillery tractors, and therefore diesel fuel was sent to the southwest without interruption. Both through Belarus and directly, and the main supplier turned out to be Rosneft with a controlling stake in the state, headed by the president’s closest ally Igor Sechin…
The head of the Russian state was worried about the financial condition of the neighbors. Less than a year after the victory of the Maidan and the start of the punitive operation in Donbass, the president strictly demanded from the head of the state-controlled VTB bank Andrey Kostin not to curtail activities in Ukraine.
“The work, of course, must be continued. First of all, because in the banking sector of Ukraine, Russian financial institutions hold more than 30%, and if we suspend our work, this will be an additional big, very serious blow to the Ukrainian economy. And we are not interested in this. “
Apparently, the Kremlin was interested in the successful placement of bonds of the Ukrainian military loan, in which the subsidiaries of VTB and the state-owned Sberbank took part. And in the supply of spare parts for military equipment of the Ukrainian army, which was reported by the Ukrainian edition of “Bigus-info”, a deputy of the “Servant of the People” party Anna Kovalenko and many others …
Vladimir Putin will always support his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Zelenskyas supported by his predecessor Petro Poroshenko… Therefore, it is not worth listening to propagandists broadcasting about the imminent freezing and collapse of Ukraine with the subsequent entry of Russian tanks into jubilant Kiev. And here is the foreign minister Sergey Lavrov, who insists that, minus Crimea, Russia continues to “respect the territorial integrity of Ukraine,” is telling the truth. And his loyal spokesman Maria Zakharova, recalling that the Kremlin recognized Poroshenko’s legitimacy in order to help him “somehow form the institutions of statehood and power,” is also absolutely right. And when the ground opens up under the next hetman in Kiev, the Russian tsar-father will always carry him through the hole in his arms. Ensuring the integrity of the territory for the deployment of NATO bases.