Well dear readers, what do you make of this?
Today at 11:57 | Interfax-Ukraine Ukrainian Prime Minister and presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko has vowed not to allow the establishment of an international consortium on the basis of the Ukrainian gas transportation system.
“When you hear the word consortium, this in fact means the merger of our state property [with foreign property], this in fact means Ukraine’s parting with it, and therefore I will not seek compromises here. The gas transportation system is Ukraine’s strategic state property, and I will not allow any machinations, like consortiums, joint ventures, or any kind of lease,” Tymoshenko said in a program broadcast on the Inter television channel.
“As a matter of fact, Ukraine’s gas transportation system, which is state property, is our key to the state’s energy independence, this is our influence on all energy processes in our region, this is Ukraine’s influence on the European Union’s and the CIS countries’ energy policies, and this is our key strategic property,” Tymoshenko said.
One has to ask several direct questions about this statement.
If there is not going to be an international consortium made up of Ukraine, Russia and the EU to repair and maintain a gas transport system which has been completely ignored since 1991 and Ukrainian independence and has fallen into a state of disrepair…….where will Ukraine find the money from to make the necessary upgrades to the system?
As the transit of gas across Ukraine has become a political pawn between Russia, Ukraine and the EU with results which have severely annoyed both Russia and the EU, would it not make sense to have a consortium of all interested partners which would insure they continued to use the existing system to some degree?
Only last week Hungarian banks signed up to the joint venture for a direct line from Russia to Italy called the Southstream pipeline which completely avoids Ukraine. There is only geological seabed surveys stopping this happening.
Germany has already done the deal with Russia for a direct line through the sea and has all the persmissions from other nations for this pipeline to go through their waters. Geological and seabed surveys are complete. The Nordstream pipeline will begin being layed on the seabed in the next few months. All joint venture parteners are signed and sealed. This pipeline will happen avoiding Ukraine.
Why is it that Germany and Italy, two of the EU’s major players have sought to secure their own direct lines from Russia to their nations completely avoiding Ukraine? Part of the answer lays in jobs of course as both EU nations have partners involved in the projects, but let us be honest here, it is not because of the antiquated and leaking existing pipeline running through Ukraine, but that Ukraine cannot be trusted as a transit country.
Both Nordstream and Southstream will be in existance by 2012/13. There is nothing to stop either Italy or Germany from then being central nodes for these lines to connect to all the other nations which make up the EU.
It may well be that Ms Tymoshenko is already aware that there will be no international consortium to get involved with the Ukrainian gas transit system as nobody will be bloody using it and therefore she is trying to appear patriotic by stating she will not allow anyone to be involved…..when really nobody wants to be involved as both Nord and Southstream projects will go ahead.
What benefit is there to keeping 100% hold of an assest which nobody will use in the future? It will do nothing to influence energy politics in the region if there is no bloody gas going through it other than for Ukrainian domestic use.
Who is she trying to kid?……..Don’t answer that, it was a rhetorical question, obviously she is tyring to kid voters that what could have been a strategic asset if Ukraine had not been so unreliable as a partner…..is still going to be an asset in the long term future…..which now it will not be.
Ukraine has turned it’s existing energy asset into a liability of major proportions for both Russia and the EU……to the point that both are now definitely going to bypass that liability.
The only prospect of keeping the Ukrainian gas transportaion system an asset to Ukraine (disregarding the costs) is to allow the major stakeholders……Russia and the EU…….a stake in the system and some form of control over it because Ukraine alone has proved to be unreliable.
Where is Ukraine going to find the money to drill for oil on the Black Sea shelf or tap it’s own natural gas if it loses the revenue from transporting Russian gas? Surely not from outside soucres…..for this would be…..well….. an international consortium having a stake in Ukrainian energy….. which Ms Tymoshenko is against.
Apart from internal distribution of self sourced gas and oil reserves should Ukraine find the money to do it alone…..there is no use for the existing lines if the EU and Russia are no longer using them……..and then Ukraine still has to fix all the leaks in it’s existing transit system…..and upgrade it at additional cost due to lack of investment and maintenance over the past 20 years…….on top of the exploration and production costs. Where does that money come from?
Ukraine in the past 5 years has managed to make it’s only existing energy asset into a complete liability and yet still Ms Tymoshenko is defending it as a jewel in the crown of Ukraine on the pretext Ukraine will still be important to either Russia or the EU when alternative routes are up and running!