Ukraine demanded the gas transit contract with Russia should be extended for 15 years ahead of schedule, without waiting for 2024. It is about time Moscow should discourage Ukraine from making such "suggestions".
The head of Ukraine's gas transportation company GTS of Ukriane, Sergei Makogon, told TNS that he was persistently making such a proposal to Russia. According to him, US and German sides also evince their interest in the initiative to extend the gas transit contract already today, without waiting for 2024 to arrive.
Kiev is ready to sign the agreement for another 10-15 years even today, with transit volumes of at least 45 billion cubic meters per year, Russia has not responded to such a suggestion yet, Makogon added.
According to the Ukrainian official, Russia is using natural gas as a weapon to manipulate other countries. Prices on gas have been growing recently, and many businesses in Europe "simply stop operating, and some others even declare bankruptcy."
Why does Russia need to care about European businesses? This is what the EU wanted to do to Russian businesses in the first place by imposing sanctions on many of them. Instead, the European Union should look into the structure of its energy policy.
Secondly, why do the USA and Germany want Russia to extend the gas transit contract with Ukraine? Did they give Kiev guarantees to preserve gas transit through Ukraine? If that is the case, Ukraine should conclude contracts with them instead as Russia did not provide any such guarantees.
Thirdly, Ukraine considers Russia an "aggressor" and says that the Russian natural gas is "dirty". The next moment Ukraine stands up demanding dirty gas from the aggressor. What does Ukraine want after all? It is worthy of note that Ukraine uses the profit from gas transit to kill civilians in the Donbass. Maybe it would make sense for Ukraine to buy gas from the EU, the USA and Poland instead of weapons.
It is high time for Russia to decide too. Experts have long suggested the hub to transit Russian gas to Europe should be deployed on the Russian-Ukrainian border so that Europe could pay for the transit instead.
Russia could demonstratively dismantle gas pipes going in the direction of Ukraine for good. If Ukraine makes suggestions as the one we mentioned above, Russia should ask Ukraine questions about the Scythian gold, water supplies to Crimea or a loan worth three billion dollars.
It is about time Russia should stop following Ukraine's lead and satisfy all of its needs to hear nothing but insults in return.
Mr. Zelensky, who said that "we have returned the Scythian gold and we will return Crimea next", should be reminded of the quote from Otto von Bismarck:
"Do not expect that once taking advantage of Russia's weakness, you will receive dividends forever. Russian has always come for their money. And when they come — do not rely on an agreement signed by you, you are supposed to justify. They are not worth the paper it is written. Therefore, with the Russian is to play fair, or do not play."
The current five-year transit agreement between Russia and Ukraine guarantees the last transportation of 65 billion cubic meters of gas in the first year and 40 billion in the next four years for a period until the end of 2024.
The conclusion of the contract with Hungary has deducted 4.5 billion cubic meters of yearly transit from the Ukrainian pipe — the Turkish Stream will be used instead. This has put the transit to Europe in jeopardy, since there is not enough pressure in the pipeline for this.
According to Medvedev, Ukraine's GDP may fall by another 5-10 percent in 2023 due to the continuation of the special military operation