by Jerome a Paris
Thu Feb 9th, 2006 at 05:08:22 PM EST
As a postscript to my earlier diary on press coverage of the Russian-Ukrianian gas crisis (My week in the media), here are two new articles quoting me, and, even better, mentioning the European Tribune:
Hoping For A Gusher
On the face of it, the Russian-Ukrainian deal was a victory for market logic, upping the price Ukraine pays for Russian gas to $230 per thousand cubic meters (though mixed with far cheaper gas from Turkmenistan, Ukraine will ultimately pay an average of $90 for its gas, about double what it paid last year). That's at least a step toward the European market. However, says Jerome Guillet, a banker who worked with Gazprom in the 1990s, "the deal is obviously shady," because Ukraine will buy not directly from Gazprom, but from a recently created firm, RosUkrEnergo, the latest in a line of shell companies that trade on the difference between low gas prices in the former Soviet Union and the higher European price. "What is obvious is that these deals are not driven by the best interests of Gazprom or of Russia, but by the interests of people in power in both" Russia and Ukraine, says Guillet.
And now the Washington Times today:
U.S. hits corruption in Russian gas deals (Nicholas Kralev)
Under the January deal, RosUkrEnergo sells gas to Ukraine for $95, up from the previous $50. It is a mixture of Russian gas priced at $230 and Turkmen gas priced at less than $60.
The pipeline from Turkmenistan to Russia runs through Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, whose exports to Russia are much smaller than Turkmenistan's, said Jerome Guillet, a French investment banker who worked on a $3 billion loan for Gazprom several years ago.
He agreed with the senior State Department official that the middlemen firms "are there to create non-transparency," but said that Washington's demands are not realistic.
"The Central Asians are stuck and totally dependent on the Russians" because of the pipeline infrastructure built by the Soviet Union, said Mr. Guillet, who also edits the European Tribune, an Internet magazine.