Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
A few bits of info

  • Ukraine does pay commercial rates for its gas, but as it is not paid in cash, but in barter for transit fees, the price it is expressed in is essentially meaningless (which suggests that the simple solution is to increase both gas prices and transit fees, to save face)

  • the Northern pipe will not replace the Ukrainian ones, as it is meant for ADDITIONAL volumes

  • the Ukrainian consumers already pay pretty much full rates for their gas; what is at stake is who gets that money: Ukrainian oligarchs or Russian ones. with the change in government in Ukraine, I suspect that either new Ukrainians are trying to grab a bit of the pie (and the "old Ukrainians" and the Russians are trying to keep them out) or Yuschenko is trying to clean up that business and pissing off those that used to profit. The fact that this has ascalated so much and so publicly makes me think this is plausible.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Mon Jan 2nd, 2006 at 06:00:30 AM EST
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