Summing up Ukraine’s track record in 2013, Mykhailo Honchar, NOMOS energy programs director, said, “What had been done to make Ukraine less dependent on Russia for energy was destroyed by cabinet’s two glaring mistakes: the failure to sign the association agreement with the European Union and the so-called Moscow deal.
Cheap Russian gas will make short work of a number of on-going projects to save energy and reduce dependence on Russia for gas.
One of them aimed at introducing energy saving in production and homes will now give way to reckless waste in gas consumption.
There was a number of positive developments in the past which could raise Ukraine’s energy sustainability. I mean the proposed gas supplies from Poland and Hungary, the Shell and Chevron projects to develop shale gas fields and the Black Sea shelf gas extraction projects.
All these projects are now hanging in the air because of the president’s wavering policies.
The trust to Ukraine as a predictable partner has been brought almost to naught by Yanukovych’s zigzags before the Vilnius summit. The most likely industry sector to suffer will be Ukraine’s fuel sector. International cooperation to diversify fuel supplies to Ukraine will be ruined, with Western partners increasingly viewing Ukraine as a loose cannon.
The fact that Russia’s gas price discount is to be reconsidered every three months puts Ukraine in a strong dependence of its northern neighbor.
Ukraine is not merely on a short leash – it is tied firmly with no leash at all.
Russia’s favorable consideration of the discount will now depend on how well Ukraine follows Kremlin’s political demands.
Suffice it to recall the Kharkiv gas-for-Sevastopol deal. Then, Yanukovych was boasting about the cheaper gas. However, very soon, the cheaper gas turned out to be very dear, and this is what is going to happen to the 2013 deal with Putin.”