MOSCOW, December 7 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow and Kiev signed an addendum to the current gas contract, which will permit Ukrainian importers to pay for Russian gas in roubles, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta writes. However, Ukraine wants to receive dollars rather than roubles or hryvni for the Russian gas transit via Ukraine. However, the newspaper experts consider the new agreement profitable for Russia.
The national joint stock company Naftogaz Ukrainy and the Russian gas major Gazprom signed an additional agreement to the basic purchase-sale contract for 2009-2019, under which the payments for gas supplies will be made in Russian roubles,” the Naftogaz press service reported. Ukraine believes that this agreement is profitable for them.
The sale of energy carriers for roubles is a long-standing idea of Russian leadership and it is voiced not for the first year, chief of the analytical department of the Fund of National Energy Security Alexander Pasechnik recalled. Meanwhile, Russia can turn out to be in a more beneficial situation, because Naftogaz earlier cited some problems with the US dollar purchase for the delays of payments. “Now this excuse will not be sound,” Pasechnik said. As a result the additional agreement plays in the hands of both sides – Russia will receive timely payments and Ukraine will not search for the currency.
For his part, department director of the company 2K Audit Business Consultation/Morison International Alexander Shtok believes that the new agreement is primarily profitable for Russia, because the need to pay for gas in roubles will make Ukraine buy the Russian currency.
According to him, the final goal of these processes to make the rouble stronger as the regional currency that will lay the basis for the creation of a rouble zone.
Chief of the investment analytical department of the Univer Company Dmitry Alexandrov mainly agreed with this position. “The payments in roubles is sooner the benefit for Russia, rather than for Gazprom, because they make the rouble turnover higher in the foreign economic activities, make the rouble demand higher, particularly in the transfer of transactions. It is noteworthy that these rouble payments involve the country, which wished not to join the Customs Union and the Common Economic Space, in the rouble zone,” he said. “It is difficult to say about the profit so far, because the final information about the price was not reported yet. The possibility for the payments in roubles is more interesting for Russia, but Ukraine does not lose anything from this,” he underlined.