Politics
Tuesday 03 may, 2011, 09:18
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Expert skeptical about Ukraine’s chances to make Russia change its gas price

Expert on energy issues Oleksandr Narbut is skeptical that Ukraine will be able to convince Russia to change the 2009 formula for gas price calculation.

According to the expert, there are no what Premier Azarov described as “very weighty arguments” which can persuade the Russians to renegotiate the gas price.

Speaking on the TBi channel May 2, Narbut called Ukraine officials’ breast-beating statements [about the 2009 cabal gas contract and determination to renegotiate it – ZIK] mere window dressing which hides their own successful commercial activity.

Narbut did not rule out lower gas prices for Ukraine, saying Russia will agree only if Kyiv makes political concessions, Ukrayinska Pravda quotes the expert as saying.

“The price can be cut only through private agreements [something tycoon and former owner of corrupt RosUkrEnergo Firtash has already done – ZIK] or via political concessions – regardless of all the declarations. I do not believe the present Ukrainian regime has sufficient arguments and well-prepared scenarios to counter Kremlin’s likely moves,” Narbut said.

In his opinion, Ukrainian leaders are not fully aware of the possible fall-out from their tough declarations and are not ready to react to Russia’s corresponding response.

Although the gas talks get under way in summer and not in winter (when gas consumption is at the highest), Narbut said, Ukraine should do its homework well, preparing for tough reaction from Russia. If we threaten to take the case of gas pricing to the Arbitration Court in Stockholm, we must be fully aware of what might be Moscow’s answer,” Narbut warned.

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