Estonian foreign ministry confirms plans to expel two Russian diplomatsWorld May 26, 16:30
Russia stands for diplomatic settlement of North Korean issue — presidential aideRussian Politics & Diplomacy May 26, 16:25
Putin to discuss with Macron how to improve bilateral relationsRussian Politics & Diplomacy May 26, 16:20
Moscow determined to respond to expulsion of two Russian diplomats from EstoniaRussian Politics & Diplomacy May 26, 16:12
Russia may develop advanced Ka-62 helicopter’s shipborne versionMilitary & Defense May 26, 15:53
Russia and China share stances on Syria crisisRussian Politics & Diplomacy May 26, 15:27
Moscow and Beijing call for complete denuclearization of Korean PeninsulaRussian Politics & Diplomacy May 26, 14:35
Russia’s most advanced helicopter to get new-generation communications systemMilitary & Defense May 26, 14:24
G7 summit kicks off in ItalyWorld May 26, 13:55
It became known on Saturday after a new failed round of gas negotiations that Ukraine had rejected Russia’s no-interest loan to finance the pumping of gas into underground gas storage facilities. Also, Prime Minister of Ukraine Nikolai Azarov did not rule out a partial “freezing” of two branches of the Ukrainian gas pipeline network.
Kiev turned down Russia’s no-interest loan to finance the pumping of gas into underground storage facilities, the Novye Izvestia daily writes. This decision was made after a new failed round of gas talks between Kiev and Moscow ahead of a new heating season. Within the context of an economic stand-off of the two countries that is taking shape ahead of Ukraine’s signing an association agreement with the European Union, this news was not a sensation. Rhetoric of the Ukrainian top officials is getting increasing bellicose.
Last week, Ukraine continued demonstrating its “daily estrangement from Russia”, as Prime Minister Nikolai Azarov put it, the Novye Izvestia writes. The Ukrainian government has rejected Russia’s loan for financing the pumping of gas into underground gas storage facilities. Earlier, Ukraine stated its plans to pump into storages only the 14 billion cubic meters of gas that it needed. Russia’s Gazprom demanded to increase this amount to 19 billion cubic meters in order to ensure uninterrupted transit to European Union countries.
If Moscow does not bring down gas prices, Kiev will reduce the amount of purchased gas, Prime Minister Azarov said one of these days. He also threatened that Ukraine would suspend gas deliveries through two branches of its gas pipeline network if Russia did not increase transit to European Union countries. According to him, the Ukrainian gas pipeline network can pump 150 billion cubic meters of gas, but it currently operates only at 60% of its capacity.
This decision is not critical for Russia, the Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily quotes leading expert from the Union of Oil and Gas Industrialists Rustam Tankayev as saying. “At the same time, the freezing of pipelines in itself may be dangerous for Ukraine and the European Union,” Tankayev said.
Russia, for its part, has reduced gas deliveries via Ukraine after the launch of the Nord Stream gas pipeline. According to Ukrtransgaz, operator of the Ukrainian gas pipeline network, this year the gas pipeline network has received slightly more than 15 billion cubic meters of gas, which is 29% less than during the same period last year.