Gazprom chairman of board Alexei Miller started all over again frightening Europe with the troubles pertaining to the Russian gas transit that may arise due to alleged Ukraine’s fault. According to Miller’s statements Ukraine pumped insufficient volume of gas into underground storages; therefore it will unlawfully take the gas destined for Europe. If this happens Gazprom shall immediately cut out the gas supply. Consequently Europe will freeze as it occurred in the course of the gas war unleashed by Russia against Ukraine in winter 2008-2009. Even though instead of “congealing” Ukraine as had been reckoned by the Kremlin and Russia it was Europe who appeared to be “congealed”. Meanwhile Kiev having resisted the pressure of Moscow arranged gas reverse and saved its eastern regions from cold.
Ever since the situation has changed dramatically. Ukraine doesn’t buy Russian gas anymore and is able to go without Russian supplies while Gazprom is forced to compete with European suppliers. Although the contract signed with Kiev in times of 2008-2009 crisis is still effective. The issue is that Russian Gazprom and Ukrainian Naftogaz are hitherto unable to come to agreement of altering the “grab-or-pay” supply terms which are being fortunately exploited by Russia seeking to shift responsibility on Ukraine for uncoordinated gas supplies to Russia-seized Donbas territories.
Miller publicly addressed his warnings to Europe after the parties to contract couldn’t reach a supplementary agreement that would exempt Ukraine from the commitment to buy overpriced Russian gas and would as well relieve of responsibility for uncoordinated supplies to the uncontrolled territories. In the meantime Russia manages to save money by delegating the task of Donbass supply to Ukraine though it already has a relevant experience with Moldova. For decades Russia, without consent of Kishinev, has been providing gas supplies to the Transnistria which is under Russian control, meanwhile Moldova finds itself Russia’s lifetime debtor in spite of timely payments for gas.
Obviously the threats emanating from Gazprom to make another energy crisis are conditioned by Vladimir Putin’s mandatory task to force Ukraine to pay for gas of Donbas. When carrying out this task chairman of Gazprom exerts pressure on Ukraine through Europe by scaring the Europeans with the possible recurrence of the 2008-2009 gas crisis.
Russia remains faithful to its means and is once again betting on its favorite stake of energy blackmail by manipulating gas supplies. Even though Europe is no more trustful to the Gazprom’s horror stories especially as Russian monopolist rejects Ukraine’s offer to record the volume of gas being delivered to Europe at the border of Ukraine.