Russian-Ukrainian Gas Compromise
It was the last deed of Günther Oettinger as EU energy commissioner, when he mediated an agreement between Russia and Ukraine concerning Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine during the coming winter. Deal details:
- Price $378 until 31.12.2014 and $365 afterwards
- Debt servicing: $1,45B before the end of next week and $1.64B before the end of this year. Gazprom chef Miller had demanded $5B.
Russia had insisted that the EU would guarantee Ukrainian payments after the association agreement between the EU and Ukraine. After all, according to Putin: “in Russia it is customary for the gentleman to pay for the diner when he invites a lady to a restaurant”.
As a result, Russian energy deliveries to the EU seem to be ensured for the coming winter, as there is no need for Ukraine to illegally tap from the transit-pipelines to keep its citizens from freezing. There is some hope that the agreement could contribute to a general atmosphere of detente between the EU and Russia. The agreement is very good for Ukraine and good for the EU and Russia and bad for the US, whose interest it is to keep the EU and Russia as divided as possible.