New Russian-Ukrainian gas crisis with the EU may come up soon. The Minister of Energy of the Russian Federation Sergei Shmatko and the European Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs were to meet on June 2-3 in Brussels. The agenda was all about the critical situation of the delivery of Russian gas to Ukraine. But the meeting did not take place for some unknown reasons.
Shmatko, who did not go to Brussels, said that the situation was serious – gas «reality show» could happen again. He lamented that the EU is not enough active in this matter. «We have informed the management that, in our opinion, EU countries do not have a proactive position regarding this matter», – emphasized the minister.
In his turn, Vice Premier, Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, reported on June 1 that the head of the Russian government Vladimir Putin had sent a letter to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), where he drew attention to the importance of financial support to Ukraine so that it does not disrupt deliveries of Russian gas to Europe.
Kudrin added that a similar letter was sent to the EU which, given the criticality of the situation simply must respond. «We believe that the EU should also be concerned to avoid failure. Ukraine is on the line where it is not able to fully provide payments for gas », – Kudrin emphasized.
Meanwhile, Ukraine ceased pumping predetermined volumes of gas into storages and, accordingly, ceased to pay for the lost fuel. The fact that she had almost nothing to pay for gas, Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko acknowledged at the meeting with Vladimir Putin, in Kazakhstan, May 22. She asked Russia to provide payment for gas transit for five years in advance, because that was the only way to solve the problem. But – she was refused.
The official representative of «Gazprom» Sergei Kupriyanov indicated that the shortage of fuel complicated Ukraine gas transit to Europe. «We are concerned about this situation and try to convey this concern to our colleagues in Europe. If now, in summer, underground storage facilities in Ukraine are not adequately filled, it will be very difficult for the Ukrainian colleagues to comply with their obligations to transport gas “, – he said.
Surprisingly there is no reaction from the EU yet. In March of this year it signed a treaty with Ukraine behind Russia’s back that it would modernize the Ukrainian gas transmission system. But Brussels is not in a hurry to invest in the salvation of the Ukrainian economy. And also the meeting of the European Commissioner for Energy and the head of the Minernego of Russia foiled. It is clear for everyone: if the gas crisis happens again, the sufferers will be European consumers.