The Ukrainian side expected the new agreements to be signed this month, but on Monday Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told journalists that Gazprom and Naftogaz will not sign a new gas agreement by the end of December 2011.
"There will be no New Year presents," Miller said in a short statement.
Monday evening Gazprom issued a press release about working meeting between Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Ukraine's Energy Minister Yuri Boiko. If earlier the statements of Gazprom contained positive remarks regarding the course of negotiations, this time the report was short-spoken: "The sides discussed issues of current and future cooperation."
ForUm has asked experts and politicians about this unexpected turn.
Mykhailo Chechetov, deputy faction leader of the Party of Regions:
- There are people who are preparing decisions - professionals, specialists. And there are people who make decisions. These are to different things to prepare a decision and to make it.
I want to draw you attention to that this comment was voiced by a man, who was preparing the decision, not by the authorities who will make it.
Oleksandr Paliy, expert:
This is a good statement, as with every New Year and with every discount the gas agreements become worse and worse for Ukraine. We don't need any presents. Miller's statement can prove that everything is not that bad and that Ukraine may be defending certain positions.
The key question here is the market price Gazprom will have to pay for transit of its gas. It will be three or four times more that Gazprom pays today.
Besides, according to forecasts the world price for oil will drop next year. Libya plans to restore oil production. Economies of the US and Chine are slowing down. The South Stream project has collapse. All these prove that prices for energy carriers will go down.
Kost Bondarenko, chairman of the institute of Ukrainian politics:
- It means that negotiations will take longer than planned and that there are additional complications.
Apparently, Ukraine does not agree with new conditions, proposed by the Russian side. And here come such statements from Miller.
As for the signing of new gas agreements, it can be approved regardless Miller and economic structures. A political decision may be adopted at the level of presidents.
Volodymyr Kornilov, director of Ukrainian branch of CIS Institute:
- Mr. Miller confirmed the rumors about problems in the course of negotiations. Now both Russians and Ukrainians know this.
The main parameters of the agreement had been discussed among three leaders of both states in the countryside residence of the Russian president. But then the details appeared. And as far as I understand the problem is with Ukrainian side.
Russia expected Ukraine to leave Energy charter by December and to adopt a law, which allows signing the given agreement. But Ukrainian parliament has not done anything. So what do we sign now?
Valentyn Zemlianski, expert:
- Miller's statement is of pure political character. It was announced by Gazprom CEO in lobby immediately after the official statement on negotiations with Ukrainian side.
This announcement can be considered a response to Ukraine's statement on including the gas price at 400$ into the state budget for 2012.
This is a well-known practice, when Ukrainian and Russian sides exchanges political blows. When Russia demands something unreal or when Ukraine does not want to make concessions, the sides start public "exchange of civilities".
But the mater does not concern "presents", but the forthcoming presidential election in Russia. Taking into account the election Russian authorities cannot allow any concessions to Ukraine. The Russian authorities need a small victorious war to show to its voters that Ukraine bowed.
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