At the same time, this consortium would make sense if 'South steam' really posed any threat to Ukraine. However, this project is at the stage of deadlock preceding collapse.
Firstly, the price for energy carriers is dropping. Under such conditions Russia won't be able to shake out tens of milliards euro from investors.
Secondly, the EU has adopted the so-called Third energy package, according to which all gas suppliers have accesses to gas pipes on the territory of the EU. For example, Qatari gas easily gets into the Russian pipe. This situation is a nightmare of Gazprom. In addition, gas suppliers and gas transportation companies must be separated, which means Gazprom's pipelines will never enter the EU.
Recently the European Commission representatives conducted searches in Berlin and Czech representative offices of Gazprom, as well as in offices of other gas companies in ten countries in order to prevent violation of antimonopoly law. Only this is enough for 'South stream' to remain on paper.
Besides, there is position of Turkey, which does not want to lose its key role in gas trade in that region. There is no point for Turkey to give permission for 'South stream' to pass through its territorial waters and it does not.
There are also competitive projects, and construction of 'Transcaspian gas pipeline' is one of them. "'We would like to import gas from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan at first hand," European commissioner on energy Gunther Ettinger declared.
And on top of that, 'South stream' project is disrupted by new technologies, including processing of shale gas and development of terminal net for Qatari or any other Middle East gas.
Hence, 'South stream' unlike the 'North stream' is nothing but a fiction and expensive one. But 'North stream', the first branch of which has been built, cannot take the main part of transit routs of Ukraine because it is directed to North European consumers.
So what do we have at the end? Formation of the consortium means sharing of income. If current milliard of income is divided by three, what will have Ukraine? - pennies. It would be more profitable to sow the soil, allotted for the gas pipes.
Another important question is who the participants of the consortium are. The European Union or private companies? If the latter, they will easily sell Ukraine 'for a candy.'
At the same time, European Commission spokesperson Marlene Holzner said the Commission did not get any propositions regarding the three-sided consortium. "We did not see any details regarding the consortium, only some reports in the press," she said. As they say, EU has been given away without its O.K.
What does Ukraine need from the consortium? Obligations from Russia not to build 'South stream'? Let them be, anyway they will not finish it in this century. Money for modernization of the gas transportation system? It is doing just fine for now. And why don't we take this money from the income of the very GTS? Why do we always need some 'foreign uncle', who first takes money from Ukraine and then gives little part for repair?
The problem is that such 'uncles' are very costly, as much as lack of brains.
The wisest decision for the authorities to make is not to hurry. Oil prices are dropping. IMF will not let us down. Technological progress is on our side - liquefied gas and shale have already led to gas price fall in US by 50% and in EU by10-20%.
Ukraine should speak less and act more. If the authorities speak about reduction of gas consumption, it must be reduced practically. If the matter concerns own gas extraction, the corresponding programs must be financed by the budget. And if they steal less, the country will live in clover.
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