Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard
The public statements of the leadership of Germany about the need to preserve gas transit through Ukraine is a ploy – Berlin, after the completion of “Nord Stream-2″, will need only an insignificant volume of fuel pumping, and the most of the capacity of the Ukrainian gas transit system will remain unused.
This was written by the “Zerkalo Nedeli” newspaper, which is considered to be influential in Ukraine.
“… The strongest political component of the project (the isolation of Ukraine) became impossible to hide. They recognised and … nothing has changed, the project is still being defended by both Frau Merkel (head of the government), and the president of Germany. The project, of course, is attractive to German industry. Plus, Germany is becoming a key European hub. The question about the benefit for Europe (especially for the East) is much more disputable,” it is said in the publication.
“This year Kiev and Washington were semi-officially presented a number of ideas about how Berlin sees the future of the Ukrainian system. There was nothing original: allocating a separate pipe – this is a question about a corridor from the Kursk direction of the Urengoy-Pomary-Uzhgorod pipeline – and transferring it to external management (this same consortium) under Berlin’s control. Germany still needs transit through Ukraine, about 30 billion cubic meters. The fate of the rest of the gas transit system (and this is five times more, with a capacity of up to 146 billion cubic meters per year) does not interest it.
At the same time this gives Berlin the chance to say ‘we were able defend Ukrainian transit’. After all, Gazprom long said that it will leave only 10-15 billion cubic meters of transit per year. And here there is even two-three times more – a whole 30. We are indeed charitable. We were even kindly suggested to guarantee us payment of this volume.
By the way, it was proposed to exarticulate the ‘German pipe’ from the Ukrainian gas transit system. Such a kind of ‘Nord Stream-3’ in the steppes and peaks of the Carpathians.
‘Gazprom’ also ordered a series of research projects in Europe, justifying that 26–30 billion cubic meters is indeed that volume that everyone will be happy with. Well, except us, probably,” wrote the Ukrainian publication.
Kiev forecasts the worst case scenario too – the complete termination of transit through Ukraine after the completion of the branches of “Turkish stream” and “Nord Stream-2”. The authorities of Ukraine need to now urgently look for funds to modernise the gas transit system.
“Currently the system is being propped up by the flow of Russian gas. Then the period of far bigger autonomy and considerably smaller pressure in pipelines will start. There will be a need to write off some of the pipelines and to reconstruct the scheme of work for others. So modernisation is urgently needed and to fail to do it means that in the future there will be a heap of problems that are difficult to solve for the country,” warns the author of the material.
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