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If this is the case, why Russia and Gazprom aren't trying to re-negotiate the contracts with their EU partners, to guarantee delivery to the Ukrainian border, and let the Europeans to deal with Ukraine?

If Jerome's third point is correct, both Gazprom and Ukraine would be reluctant to pass on such a source of grey cash. I, however, personally believe that EU, or rather individual companies-importers of gas, are much more comfortable pushing all Ukrainian non-payment and siphoning risks onto convenient scapegoats - Russians.

Today's reaction of Vondra, Czech vice-premier and the point-man of Czech EU presidency, is very telling: he said that if gas problems between Russia and Ukraine continue, EU could use either north or south route of getting it. In the north, he meant North Stream, in the south Central Asia and Middle East countries. Gazprom proposes finishing North Stream and utilizing South Stream to the full at this point.

by Sargon on Sat Jan 3rd, 2009 at 03:14:55 PM EST
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