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“Ukraine’s gas settlement: the wrong solution”

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Europe’s sigh of relief when the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine was supposedly over could even be heard in Kiev. But this settlement, which leaves Ukraine’s energy requirements to the mercy of a nonexistent company linked to a gang of international criminals, brings about more problems than solutions. This is the reason why I have presented a legal action.
The settlement between Ukraine and Gazprom, the Russian state-owned company, leaves Ukraine’s energy-related future to the mercy of RosUkrEnergo, a criminal excrescence attached to our gas company thanks to former president Leonid Kuchma. RosUkrEnergo controls gas imports from central Asia in Ukraine and the agreement signed allows it to keep that control. Since I worked in the gas industry, I know it’s completely corrupted. When I was Prime Minister I demanded an investigation into RosUkrEnergo and I found out who its owners were and what they did to control imports. But, as soon as I was replaced, it was all forgotten. Ukraine’s and Europe’s supplies wont be guaranteed as long as gas is controlled by non transparent companies.
The settlement also brings up the problem with regard to Ukraine’s position in Europe. As any other country, Ukraine’s relations with the rest of the world depend on four factors which are extremely linked: history, patriotism, national interests and geography. Ukraine has an strategic interest in the development of free trade, in open markets throughout the world, in having democratic and prosperous neighbours and in preventing conflicts between the West and Russia to avoid being the battlefield. Risks in the “post-Soviet era” are still serious. Therefore, Ukraine wants to be included in the European Union.
The proposal of making a gas pipeline in the Baltic to deliver gas to Germany in a direct way from Russia without going through Poland, Ukraine, the Baltic states and the rest of Central Europe is risky somehow for it would allow Gazprom to interrupt the supplies to its customers whenever it wishes without jeopardizing its supplies to its favourite western markets. Ukraine tries to guarantee its security and stability. We can’t accept agreements that will leave us at the mercy of non transparent companies.

Source
Taipei Times (Taiwan)
Daily Times (Pakistan)
El Tiempo (Colombia)

Ukraine’s gas settlement: The wrong solution”, by Yulia Tymoshenko, Taipei Times, January 9, 2006.
Ukraine comes in from the cold”, Daily Times, January 9, 2006.
Ucrania llega del frío”, El Tiempo, January 10, 2006.

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