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Response to grahamhgreen (Reply #5)

Thu Mar 20, 2014, 10:26 PM

8. Ah yes, here comes more odd things.

Are you against the privatization of the Ukraine gas pipelines and gas fields?

Gazprom objects to other providers using their pipes to send gas. Such as the companies Ukraine want to use to develop Ukraine's natural gas fields. The EU deal would have separated ownership of the pipe from ownership of the gas in the pipe. That would allow other companies to use the pipe to ship to Europe.

And shipping more gas to Europe is how Ukraine solves its debt problem. Gas that doesn't belong to Gazprom.

Clearly Ukraine is better when a Russian company controls the pipes. And that $15 billion is a much better deal than the hundreds of billions worth of gas they are trying to export.

Are you against an austerity program for Ukraine?

I have this terribly radical idea that this is up to the Ukrainians.

When the previous government was elected, one of the planks in their platform was closer ties to the EU. And all that such ties brought.

Now, the whole "EU ties" thing wouldn't immediately lead to an austerity program - they wouldn't be part of the EU, so the EU couldn't "pull a Greece".

What it could threaten is Russia's ability to export gas to Europe, one of Russia's major sources of income. Because they ran the pipe through Ukraine during the USSR era, and their other possible routes (the Baltics) hate Russia even more.

Which lead to Putin's "Take this deal or we double the price of gas" offer. It's so odd you keep forgetting that the Russian deal had a rather large element of extortion.

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