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Source: www.asiaecon.org |

TENSIONS IN RUSSIAN UKRAINIAN COOPERATION


  EU states, cut off for days from Russian gas in freezing temperatures, pleaded on Wednesday for an end to the dispute between Moscow and Kiev which has prevented a deal to restore fuel supplies.   In an attempt to allow Russian gas to flow to Europe Ukraine has signed an agreement with Russia to allow the passage of natural gas to Europe through its borders. This agreement was achieved After a period of conflict between Kiev and Moscow concerning subsidized gas prices, in which Russia halted the supply of gas to Europe.


EU states,  cut off for days from Russian gas in freezing temperatures, pleaded on Wednesday for an end to the dispute between Moscow and Kiev which has prevented a deal to restore fuel supplies.

In an attempt to allow Russian gas to flow to Europe Ukraine has signed an agreement with Russia to allow the passage of natural gas to Europe through its borders. This agreement was achieved After a period of conflict between Kiev and Moscow concerning subsidized gas prices, in which Russia halted the supply of gas to Europe.

During the past few days, Russia cut off its supply of gas to Europe by freezing its shipment of gas exports to the Ukraine,  demanding an official written agreement that requires the Ukraine to abide by Russia’s demands concerning the pricing of natural gas.

Russia’s decision to halt its gas supply was looked upon as an act of aggression to spread it’s influence on former soviet countries that aligned themselves with the West after the soviet’s collapse. The gas row reflects poor political relations between Russia and Ukraine. Moscow is vehemently opposed to moves by Ukraine’s pro-Western leadership to join the U.S.-led NATO alliance. Ukraine’s plans for eventual NATO membership sum up everything about the country that annoys the current Russian administration.

Mirek Topolanek, Prime Minister of Czech Republic acted as an intermediary to solve the conflict between the two countries after Russia had accused the Ukraine in what Russian officials referred to as “stealing” of Russian gas. Kiev denied the allegation, but admitted it had used some of the gas for what it called “technical purposes” to power the pipeline network that transports Russian gas to Europe across its territory. After a marathon of trips between the capitals of both states, Mirek was able to convince Kiev and Moscow to sign an agreement of cooperation where Russia will resume pumping its gas through pipelines passing through the Ukraine

Russian President Putin declared his country’s willingness to resume its exports of gas to Europe under the condition that pipelines in the Ukraine are to be monitored by specialists from the European Union.

For a few brief hours it looked like the crisis was over but before the gas could reach its freezing customers in Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, the deal appeared to be off again. On one hand, Gazprom, the Russian energy giant, claims that Ukraine is blocking the flow of gas, preventing it from crossing the country. On the Other, Ukraine counters that the pipeline route used by Russia to send the gas makes it technically impossible to deliver.

Russian natural oil constitutes around 25% of European consumption where 80% of it passes through Ukraine. During the week that Russia cut off its gas supply 11 people froze to death in Europe, 10 of them in Poland where temperatures reached minus 25 C(13 F).

The dispute has hit 18 countries in the depths of winter, shutting down factories and leaving householders shivering. In the past week, 15 countries announced Russia’s halt on gas supplies including Austria, Bulgaria, Bosnia, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Macedonia, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, and Turkey.

For the European Union,  it is vital that Russia and Ukraine reach a longer-term agreement on the issue of gas price

Source: www.AsiaEcon.org

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Source: www.asiaecon.org |


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