How plan b works

Kiev does not believe that Moscow will save gas transit through the territory of Ukraine, and expects to receive $ 12 billion from Russia as compensation for lost profits.

Ukraine has figured out what it will live after the launch of the second branch of the Nord Stream gas pipeline (after that Kiev will lose the role of the leading transit country for Russian fuel to the EU countries). According to Yury Vitrenko, Commercial Director of Naftogaz, Ukraine expects to receive compensation from Russia in the amount of $ 12 billion due to the launch of the pipeline and, accordingly, the downtime of the country’s gas transportation system. Kiev has already filed a lawsuit against Russia with international arbitration. According to Vitrenko, Ukraine will demand a revision of the transit tariff: since less gas will be transported through its GTS, the cost of transportation should be higher.

“For this we have the appropriate legal options. On the other hand, the European rules of this tariff are established. And they make it possible to reflect the effect of the non-use of the Ukrainian gas transportation system after 2019, ”Vitrenko said on the air of the Ukrainian Channel Five.

Ukrainian transit vs Nord Stream-2

Initially, Nord Stream 2, with a capacity of 55 billion cubic meters of gas per year, was presented as an alternative to Ukrainian transit. Moscow hoped to build a pipeline in 2019, when the transit contract with Kiev expired. But later the Russian side relaxed: Ukraine can save revenues from the transportation of “blue fuel” after the settlement of controversial issues.

As said Minister of Energy of Russia Alexander Novak, Moscow is ready for a compromise with Kiev, but for a start – the settlement of all controversial issues. “We are ready to extend the existing contract, are ready to consider including proposals for the conclusion of a new contract. An important question that is linked to this is our position, the Russian Federation. We must settle all disputed relations before the start of the new phase of the relationship, ”the Minister of Energy stressed.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel (and Germany, we recall, is the main lobbyist of the Nord Stream II) has repeatedly stated that it will not allow the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine to stop after the launch of the gas pipeline.

That’s what I said about the preservation of Ukrainian transit Russian President Vladimir Putin: “I know the position on this issue of the Federal Chancellor (Merkel – approx. Ed.), Which constantly raises this topic. I want to note that the main thing is that this Ukrainian transit, which is traditional for us, meets economic requirements, is economic in every sense of the word. ”

But in Kiev, Berlin and Moscow do not believe and are afraid of losing the impressive sums Ukraine is currently earning from transporting “blue fuel”. According to Head of “Naftogaz” Andrei Kobolev, the launch of Nord Stream 2 will be detrimental to the Ukrainian economy: Kiev will lose $ 3 billion annually (just as much Ukraine receives from Russia for the transit of gas to Europe). “If Nord Stream 2 is now launched, then after two years the project can be completed. And, as all calculations show, there will be no gas transit through Ukraine, ”Knobova quotes UNN.

How plan b works

Ukrainian is pessimistic Foreign Minister Pavel Klimkin: The Foreign Minister is confident that after the second branch of the Nord Stream is put into operation, Russia will give up Ukrainian transit: “Russia will take measures to completely stop gas transit through our territory.”

“It is possible to prevent the launch of Nord Stream-2 by filing claims for lost profits only at the level of the general news agenda by putting pressure on European partners, first of all Germany, which is the main beneficiary of the construction of a new gas pipeline after Gazprom,” considers director of the expert group Veta Dmitry Zharsky.

In fact, according to the expert, the only thing Ukraine can claim is fines against the Russian side, and only then in case of a breach of the contract (which is soon terminated).

“That is, if, due to the introduction of the second branch of the Nord Stream and the redistribution of export flows of Gazprom, during the term of the contract, will reduce the volumes below the values ​​established by the contract, the Ukrainian side can really demand compensation for lost profit in this regard , but there is quite an important point. First, the terms of contracts with Naftogaz at Gazprom expire in 2019. Most likely, even in the event of a prolongation, the contracts will be revised in the light of the prospects for launching a new branch of the Nord Stream, which will be operational in 2020-2021, ”explains Zharsky

As for the amount of 12 billion dollars that Kiev expects to receive, the expert found it difficult to answer where Ukraine got it from. “The fact is that by the time the SP-2 is launched, the existing contract (and therefore its terms and conditions) will no longer be valid,” he notes.

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