At a Government
meeting on Thursday, October 30, Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk
informed about the conditions to sign the Protocol on natural gas supplies at
the tripartite level among the EU, Ukraine and Russia.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk told
about the course of negotiations on the gas issue in Brussels. He noted that together
with the President of Ukraine they had been engaged in talks till 5 o'clock this
morning with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso
and the Ukrainian delegation, staying currently in Brussels to solve the gas problems,
"Our position should be fair, transparent and open. In order to sign certain
Protocol, we must publicly announce the position. The members of the Cabinet of
Ministers and, in particular, people should understand what is signed, what is the objective and which are additional pros and cons from
The PM reminded that Ukraine had
accumulated in its gas storages 17 billion cubic meters of gas, and in order to get
through the cold season we need another 5 billion cubic meters, "We have now increased the
volume of reverse natural gas supplies from Slovakia, and in fact only due to the
reverse supplies the country is surviving and is warmed. We have replaced 60% of natural gas, which before we had bought from
Russia, for natural gas, which we
now buy from the European Union".
According to him, throughout
the recent month Russia “has started to blackmail Europe and to reduce the
volumes of natural gas supplies into the EU member states, so that the EU
refused from reverse supplies to Ukraine", "By creating a deficit on
the European market, the Russians believed that our European friends would
refuse to deliver gas to Ukraine. But this did not happen".
On behalf of the
Government of Ukraine Arseniy Yatsenyuk expressed gratitude for the position of
the European partners and especially to the Slovak partners for contractual
Moreover, he said
that now it is technically important to start pumping up of extra gas volumes into
the storages to get through the peak winter loads.
The Prime Minister
stressed that the signing of the Protocol on the supply of natural gas "is
only possible at the tripartite level: the European Union, Ukraine and the
third party – Russia”.
As for the payment of
already delivered gas supplies, the Head of Government informed that Ukraine
can pay the price of USD 268, “Gazprom may interpret
it on their own way, but our position is that the supplied gas amounts should
be paid at the price of USD 268".
"With this aim
we have USD 3.1 billion on our accounts, received as a financial assistance
from the International Monetary Fund and the European Union. Ukraine has all
the necessary funds to pay off all the bills for the natural gas delivered in
the past," the PM stressed.
The first tranche of
payment for gas, he said, will make up USD 1 billion 450 million, and it “will
be transferred as soon as possible, immediately after signing of the Protocol”,
"the remaining sum worth USD 1 billion 650 million will be transferred
before the end of the current year”.
Another condition, according to
Arseniy Yatsenyuk, the deliveries of new gas volumes by Russia should be made
immediately after prepayment is made,
"just the way we are buying gas from Europe, in the
amounts determined by Ukraine", “If
Ukraine pays in advance, Russia is obliged to supply natural gas. Therefore, I am
surprised with a question of Russia's concerning
financial guarantees for the advanced payment. There are funds, we have paid them – they supply
Regarding the prices for natural
gas, Arseniy Yatsenyuk reminded that the common basic approach of the EU and Ukraine, which had been announced
4.5 months ago, is fixing a price for gas in the summer season worth USD 325 dollars, in the winter period,
when energy prices are rising, at USD 385, "Now we have reached the position when the price
will be calculated by the formula, which is stipulated by the contract. It affects the cost of
oil, the price for which has dropped considerably. This means that in the last quarter of the year, the
price will be USD 378, and in the first quarter of the next year it will make up about USD 365".
"The approach to
the pricing has been set forth in the Protocol. If Russia violates an order of
a pricing procedure and will again try to put a price at USD 500, we in synergy
with the European Commission agreed that the European Commission will act as a
guarantor of the obligations of the Russian Federation at a fair price forming,
also through the mechanism of compensation of an increase of rates, if such a price
doesn’t correspond the tripartite Protocol signed between the EU, Ukraine and
Russia", explained the PM.
One more condition set forth by the
Ukrainian side is that Gazprom refuses from an unfair
principle "take or pay".
In addition, Gazprom
must pay for the transit of gas to the accounts of the NJSC "Naftogaz of
The Head of
Government stressed that a final decision regarding the gas contract would be
taken by the Stockholm Arbitration Court, "The Protocol, which is signed,
is temporary - for a period of six months. The core lawsuit on compensation of
USD 6 billion from the Russian "Gazprom" wasn’t
withdrawn by Ukraine and won’t be withdrawn. And the text of this Protocol contains
that the final decision on price, delivery conditions and changes into the
contract will be made by the Stockholm Arbitration Court".
also noted that there must be signed an Annex to the contract, which contains
the technical issues called to ensure implementation of the tripartite
Moreover, the Head of
Government informed that he would report the President of Ukraine on the
results of the discussion of these issues at the Cabinet’s meeting, "We
share a common position with the President and it should be this way. We can
focus on this option, as it is a shared position of both Ukraine and the
European Union. We must act as a unit, and we are acting this way now".
He noted that he
would have this day a number of telephone conversations, in particular with the
Vice President of the United States of America Joe Biden and Federal Chancellor
of Germany Angela Merkel, "One of the principal issues to be discussed
contains the gas agreement and additional financial tools for Ukraine, and it
will allow us to stabilize the fiscal situation and to pay our energy
"All possible protectors
have been elaborated by us," Arseniy Yatsenyuk said and added that he would
inform about the course and final results of the negotiations in Brussels.