Ukraine is persistently looking for ways to hurt Gazprom, and along seleukeia will fight in the gas war with Russia with the help of American liquefied natural gas (LNG). This statement was made by the head of the Ukrainian “Naftogaz” Andrei KOBOLEV after a recent visit to Washington. The official once again said that Moscow is allegedly going to unleash a gas war after the expiration of the transit contract with Ukraine at the end of this year, so Kiev is actively preparing for “fighting”. At the same time, Naftogaz stubbornly ignores all the proposals of the Russian side and calls for negotiations.
“Their goal is to create an artificial crisis after 2019, starting from the first of January. The crisis I am talking about, which may take place in January 2020, can be called a gas war. And I believe that its probability is very high,” the Ukrainian official threatened.
As part of the “preparation,” KOBOLEV said that Kiev and Washington are close to concluding a contract for gas supplies to Ukraine. Allegedly, the parties discussed this option during the last negotiations and showed great interest.
“I hope that in the near future this interest will be transformed into specific gas flows,” KOBOLEV said.
The Ukrainian and American sides also discussed joint opposition to the construction of the Russian export gas pipeline Nord stream-2. If everything is clear with the opposition to the “Nord stream-2”, the prospect of us LNG supplies to Ukraine raises big questions. At least because there is no own terminal for regasification on the territory of the “non-reliable”. The nearest terminal, as told “JV” Deputy Director of the Institute of national energy Alexander Frolov, is in Poland, and theoretically, deliveries will be possible. But the cost of such gas may be more expensive than pipeline, even reverse, at times.
This, however, is not too concerned about the management of Naftogaz. The main thing is to make a loud PR statement and again tell the world about the upcoming “gas war” with Russia. According to Alexander Frolov, this is the main task of the statement of the head of Naftogaz, and not in a real desire to buy expensive American liquefied gas, for which Ukraine simply has no money.
— Andrey KOBOLEV without exaggeration it is possible to call the enemy of the people, let this concept today and isn’t popular, — Alexander Frolov speaks. — Mr. KOBOLEV sits at his post only to ignite the conflict with Gazprom. It tried to remove in March of the current year, but because of the pressure of the Western partners of Ukraine the contract with it was prolonged, and now this person continues to be engaged in the business.
Do you think he continues to improve the economic and production performance of Naftogaz? No, they have worsened, especially since the volume of Russian gas pumping through Ukraine does not depend on KOBOLEV in any way. Maybe he increased domestic gas production? No, KOBOLEV failed this task catastrophically. Nominally, production has grown, but the volume of commercial gas that is actually sent to consumers has decreased. That is, this person, who is the head of a large oil and gas company, works extremely inefficiently.
But he is doing everything to ensure that the transit contract with Gazprom is not extended, and at the beginning of 2020, a gas war with the Russian Federation took place. This man doesn’t seem to be mentally deranged. So his actions stem from a different logic. Not from the logic of increasing the energy security of Ukraine or increasing the reliability of gas supplies to consumers, but from the logic of maximum fueling the conflict with Gazprom and Russia.
“SP”: — That is, the leadership of “Naftogaz” consciously provokes the coming conflict?
— Now we see the next nonsense from the category of ignition of gas war. In this statement, the main thing is not that Ukraine really wants to buy liquefied natural gas from the United States, which is absurd in itself. The main thing in another — KOBOLEV morally prepares its European partners to the fact that the gas war will be and it is inevitable.
Note that Gazprom does not talk about the gas war, but offers discounts, the government of the Russian Federation does not talk about the gas war, and offers to discuss the extension of the transit contract and supplies to Ukraine. Even German Chancellor Angela Merkel says that Kiev does not need to worry, the contract will be extended and transit will continue to go through the territory of this country.
And only the leadership of Naftogaz stubbornly continues to assert that there will be no transit, there will be conflict and war, everyone will be ill. And only Gazprom and Russia are to blame for this. And I must say that these words fall on the soil fertilized by the Europeans themselves. Even during the gas conflict in 2009, when all European companies were on the side of Gazprom, the Western media wrote that Russia was to blame.
Now major Ukrainian officials say that Russia is preparing for a gas war, and the Western media can again support these statements, although, again, from Russia, there is not even any hint of this conflict. But Kiev is actively preparing all consumers for interruptions in transit.
“SP”: — And if they organize these interruptions, Ukraine will really be able to receive liquefied gas from the United States?
— I think after this part of the statement somewhere in Poland there was very loud applause. Why Poland? Yes, because Ukraine does not have its own LNG terminal. Its construction was an idea-fix of all presidents, since Yushchenko. It came to a farce, when, for example, when Yanukovych signed a contract for the construction of the terminal with a representative of a “large Spanish company”, which turned out to be a fraud and a former ski instructor from Barcelona.
In fact, the LNG terminal in Ukraine was not, and is not, and will not be. But in Poland, there is such a terminal. Therefore, for Kiev, only one scheme is possible — the supply of LNG received and regasified in the Polish Swinoujscie.
In Europe, in fact, there are not many people who want to cooperate with Poland in terms of LNG supplies, although Warsaw wants this very much. At the same time, its terminal, even after expansion, will not allow receiving gas in the volumes that it now receives from Gazprom. But this does not prevent Warsaw from projecting, planning the construction of gas pipelines to the Czech Republic and other countries and the supply of American gas there. On the one hand, it looks crazy, and on the other, suddenly the EU leadership will allocate money for it?
Poland continues to lure money from the European Union under these projects, and then Ukraine appears. It is important for Kiev to have a good PR component and a beautiful picture. How much will the gas cost, they do not care? And here Poland offers to sell them not some, and the American gas which will be supplied to its terminal, their regasification and go to the territory of Ukraine.
Ukrainian officials already imagine how they will cut the ribbons and meet this gas with a loaf on the towel. It sounds like irony, but the American coal was met exactly like this — with the first persons of the state and the dances of the Cossacks in salwar kameez. So, theoretically, such deliveries are possible?
— It is possible, and I do not exclude that several such deliveries of American LNG to Ukraine through Poland will be. This is the only scheme by which Ukraine can receive it.
The problem is that we were showing off that the US has no state-owned corporations, which sell liquefied gas. These are private companies that do not depend on the will of Washington. And no trump can force them to sell gas to Ukraine if it is unprofitable.
In addition, the producers of liquefied gas in the United States are not its sellers. Their capacities are rented by other companies that carry this gas to where it can be sold more expensive, as a rule, to Asian markets or to Latin America.
Therefore, KOBOLEV instead of stories about how he negotiates with us authorities about supplies, it was worth going to the same Polish PGNiG, which has already entered as a trader in the American chain. But it wouldn’t have the same PR effect. And the result of all this history will be the same as with coal, if not worse.
With all the loud statements of trump and Poroshenko about how Ukraine will begin to buy American coal, at the end of last year, Russia was the largest supplier of coal to this country, with the President of which no one agreed on any supplies. Because this is a commercial issue.
Same with American LNG. This, on the one hand, PR “Naftogaz” and Ukraine, and on the other — preparing the audience for what is coming gas war with Russia, which unleashes Kiev and characters like KOBOLEV.