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Friday, March 16, 2018

“Gazprom” will steal $3 billion

The leaders of the “Independence” never cease to amaze pathetic and inappropriate behavior. So, the Economic court of Kiev accepted the claim of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine on recovery of $3.3 billion with Gazprom. Presumably, the fines and penalties that are imposed for abuse of a monopoly position in the market of transit of blue fuel through the Ukrainian gas transportation system. But, if you follow the principles of the legislative law, that this financial burden should fall on the shoulders of the company “Naftogaz of Ukraine”, which provides the transport of Russian gas to the EU. The lawsuit is regarding a legal way to steal gas from Russian pipes.

photo: AP

This story began in January of this year. Then the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine recognized “Gazprom” guilty of a violation of the law “on the market of transit of gas,” and imposed on the company a fine of $3.3 billion Also, the regulator has obliged the Russian company to bring transit fees to the “economically grounded level” — since the beginning of January, Ukraine has unilaterally increased the fee for the transit monopoly in half.

Theoretically, Kiev was right. But only in theory. Of course, Gazprom is the main supplier of “blue fuel” through the Ukrainian transport system in Europe. But there is one catch — Russia sells gas on the border, so the responsibility for the further use of this fuel lies with the Transporter — that is the Ukraine.

But Kiev distanciruemsa from his duties. In April “Gazprom” has filed a lawsuit in Kyiv Economic court. The court returned the application without consideration, citing improper registration. In may “Gazprom” appealed to the Kyiv appellate court, but the decision remained unchanged. In July the Supreme economic court of Ukraine also refused to “Gazprom” in the appeal.

Let’s start with the claims of the Ukrainian side. In their opinion, Gazprom is abusing a monopoly position in gas transit through Ukraine. The charge is serious, but not natural. Russia is the only country in the whole world, which is able to export gas through Ukraine. To accuse Gazprom of the monopoly, the same as looking in a Funhouse mirror — and the unhappy, and the audience did not understand what you pay for.

But now there comes a time worse. Ukraine reduces gas consumption over the last 2.5 years it has decreased by 30%. The country is less in need of energy due to the fall in industrial production. Kiev says that buying gas in the West is cheaper. This economy is surprising — the gas that EU countries sell “the Square”, also from Russia, and his value is clearly higher than the fuel that Kiev receives from our country.

What makes Kiev – separates consumers. “Ukrenergo” in reducing transmission of electricity over networks of 11.5%.

Therefore, according to the head of the state energy holding “Naftogaz of Ukraine” Andriy KOBOLEV, for the successful completion of the winter will be enough to be pumped into Ukrainian underground gas storage facilities to 14.5 billion cubic meters of gas. For comparison, in 2015, the reserves amounted to 17 billion cubic meters, and in pre-Maidan.

The needs of Europe in these indicators leave 170-200 billion cubic meters. The EU does not allow us to access the full capacity of the pipeline “Nord stream”, and to start building the routes, “Nord stream — 2” or “South stream”. But the claims of Kiev to $3.3 billion — this is not a gift, not a privilege.

What you need to do in this situation, the Kiev — owl to take gas from the European pipe. Forgive it in this case Brussels will guess.


Sergey Vodolagin, partner of Westside Advisors:

“In principle, a situation where large fines are imposed on companies occupying a dominant position on the market are not uncommon, including in Europe, USA or Russia. Not so long ago the Federal Antimonopoly service fined the company Google for abuse of dominant market position by almost half a billion rubles. The validity and fairness of the penalty imposed on “Gazprom” the Ukrainian competition authority, raises many questions. So it is unlikely that Ukraine will fulfill the decision of the Ukrainian state Agency on the territory of Russia. However, in Russia and Ukraine there is a mechanism of foreclosure on the debtor’s property, refuse to pay. Gazprom, of course, available on the territory of Ukraine property, and the Ukrainian authorities will be able to find the procedure in accordance with which they will be able to satisfy its demand at the expense of such property”.


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