“We are working on
how to pass the winter, to withstand, to reduce our dependence on the Russian
gas. And in the following decade I see we will be capable to diversify our
sources of gas supplies and Russia won’t have a single chance to blackmail
Ukraine ever,” said Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Tuesday,
September 23, at the extended Government meeting dedicated to the issues of
preparation for the winter period.
He stressed that now “the
situation is extremely complicated, but everything necessary to pass the winter
will be done by the Government".
The Head of
Government has reminded that there have been accumulated about 17 billion cubic
meters of gas in the Ukrainian gas storages.
“On conditions of
using an emergency plan, provided we don’t buy extra amounts of natural gas from the Russian Federation, as Russia is pressing
and will continue to do it, including
by using a "gas weapon", we will have to significantly reduce consumption, primarily
in the chemical sector, in industry, in order not to afford to freeze the country," he
noted that out of the amount in 25 billion cubic meters of gas, which Ukraine was
buying in Russia, 15 billion cubic meters were replaced by gas the Ukrainian
side buys from European companies through reverse flows: "This is a
significant step forward. But it is not enough".
Another issue that requires attention is increase in natural gas production.
The Prime Minister reminded that the Government has submitted to
Parliament two bills to stimulate investment activity in the natural gas
production, that “concern firstly the production sharing agreements signed by
Ukraine with the Shell and Chevron
companies": "Once again I appeal to the Parliament, who blocks these initiatives, to
vote for these laws before the election."
also noted that on September 26 Berlin will host the next round of tripartite
talks between the EU, Ukraine and the Russian Federation on the supply of
natural gas: "Our position with the European Union is common. We have the
package, and we will move in the framework of this package. It is now a
question of energy supply of Ukraine, and that of the energy security of Europe
and the European Union in whole".
"Russia’s gas blackmail, which affects today all member countries of the European
Union, should receive a relevant joint response," said the Prime Minister.
The mutual interest
of the EU and Ukraine, according to Arseniy Yatseniuk, is to ensure "fair
and transparent" rules of cooperation in the energy market: "We do
not ask for any discounts - market conditions".
He noted that he does not expect
any forward-looking decisions from the tripartite negotiations between the EU, Ukraine and the
Russian Federation "in particular, because of
the position of Russia”: "But Ukraine has liberalized its
market. We have adopted relevant laws on the access to the Ukrainian gas transportation
system. We expect coming of European
and American investors."
“We have publicly
declared that as the transit country we shall meet our commitments. Now we have
no certain obligations to the European partners, as we have no transit deals.
Therefore, we address the European partners to stir up signing transit
contracts with Ukraine. It would be fair and correspond with the Third Energy
Package, in particular,” Arseniy Yatsenyuk stressed.