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|23 feb 2017|
Does Ukraine Raise the Rate for Transit of Gas from Russia to the Europe on Its Territory Almost Ninefold?
Yesterday it became known that within the limits of preparation of the second session of the Russian-Ukrainian interstate commission the head of the government of Russia Victor Zubkov would meet the prime-minister of Ukraine Julia Timoshenko in Moscow, on January, 23rd,. It is informed that it is supposed to discuss at a meeting a complex of questions of trade and economic cooperation of two countries as well as power questions.
The first vice-premier Alexander Turchinov specified in that connection that, in particular, it is supposed to discuss deliveries and transit of natural gas. "It's necessary to discuss question which would provide stable and mutually profitable relations between Ukraine and Russia in power questions", - Turchinov noted.
He also informed that the government of Ukraine charged a management of "Naftagas of Ukraine" to solve a number of urgent questions. "Those problems which face "Naftagas Ukraine" - is energy security of the country, including deliveries of natural gas from Russia and transit of the Russian fuel", - first assistant of Julia Timoshenko said.
As it's known, on December, 28th Julia Timoshenko called the Kremlin to build harmonious relations with Ukraine. She considers that Ukraine and Russia should balance their interests, carry out inventory of problem questions in view of national interests of Ukraine. "I do not think that we need aggression - we need balance", - the head of the government is assured.
A little bit earlier, right after elections of Timoshenko as the prime-minister she declared an invariance of her former position which consisted in that there shouldn't be intermediaries in the gas market between Ukraine and Russia. "There is Russian Joint Stock Company "Gazprom" and there are two governments - the Russian Federation and Ukraine. Intermediaries in this business are not necessary to anybody. And, I think, in such key we shall negotiate with the Russian Federation", - she emphasized.
Yesterday there appeared messages that the chapter of "Naftogas Ukraine" Oleg Dubin in the near future would arrive to Moscow and during his visit he planed to declare increase of the rate for gas transit from Russia to the Europe on the territory of Ukraine up to 9 dollars 32 cents for one thousand cubic metre on hundred kilometers. Now the rate of gas transit on the Ukrainian territory makes 1 dollar 7 cents for one thousand cubic metre.
The head of the Ukrainian editorial board of FORUM.msk Vladimir Filin, making comments by phone from Zurich where he is now, on forthcoming negotiations about gas expressed opinion, that "nothing will be changed in 2008, while by 2009 a new scheme excluding intermediaries "mixing" the Russian and Turkmen gas can be developed and coordinated with the president Dmitry Medvedev.
Certainly, the price for gas for Ukraine in the next year will come nearer to the European level, however, as well as the price of Turkmen gas for Russia. Therefore, even cleanly economically necessity of intermediary will be far not obvious".
Meanwhile, president Victor Jushchenko yesterday was busy with questions of national defense. He called to accelerate process of transition of Armed forces of Ukraine completely on the contract form of acquisition, he considered decrease of a level of military battle readiness as one of the main problems of the Ukrainian army.
"If transition would pass with such rates as it was last years, the Ukrainian army won't pass to a contract basis for many years", - he said at a meeting in the Ministry of Defence which passed with participation of the prime-minister, chairman of parliament, Minister of Defence, secretary of National Security And Defence Council of Ukraine and other representatives of authority. He added also that he "is not satisfied with a level of battle readiness which exists in the Ukrainian army. Every year this parameter worsens".
The head of the state put before a management of Ministry of Defence and other authorities a target: infrastructure of the Armed Forces of Ukraine should correspond to a modern level. As he said, in Ukraine there should not be an army which "is overgrown with collective farms, woods, fields, grounds, arsenals".
Besides Victor Yushchenko at the meeting in the Ministry of Defence declared, that he's not satisfied with the rates of realization of the program on recycling of superfluous ammunition and arms. "If we destroy from 20 up to 25 thousand tons of ammunition annually, then imagine the term when we would fulfill that target", - he said.
Jushchenko noted that low rates of recycling of ammunition led to significant financial costs on maintenance of bases, warehouses and arsenals as well as to emergencies.
In September, 2007 Anatoly Gritsenko being then the Minister of Defence declared that the government of Ukraine broke the program of recycling of ammunition. In November the Cabinet created interdepartmental working group on preparation of offers for the project of the state target program of recycling of liquid components of rocket fuel "Melanzh".
In December it was found out that for recycling of rocket fuel the country needed international financial help. A week ago Anatoly Gritsenko, already in a rank of chairman of parliamentary committee on the questions of national safety and defence, declared that the country needed vice-premier on recycling of ammunition.
We shall remind that a problem of recycling of the Soviet ammunition stored in warehouses of military units in Ukraine became especially actual after a series of fires and explosions in Novobogdanovka in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. Now ammunition there is being eliminated in barbaric-like way.
In the wake of performance of the president about reform of army, the Committee of the Supreme Rada on the questions of national safety and defence suggested him to bring in a new bill "About Number of Armed Forces in 2008" which should provide reduction of the Armed Forces of Ukraine only on 9 thousand people instead of 17 as it's offered now.
"Having listened to the report of the Joint Staff, members of committee unanimously decided that the offer of the President concerning reduction of the needs should be supported but they disagreed with the rates of reduction on 17 thousand and instead after thorough professional discussion offered the president to bring in a bill on reduction of number on 9 thousand", - Anatoly Gritsenko commented on it.
Among the reasons he named that within two last years financing of actions of the state program of development of Armed Forces of Ukraine till 2011 was insufficient.
As he said, the Armed Forces of Ukraine for those two years received less than it should on 4 billion hryvnas, that didn't allow to buy new communication systems and the automated control systems of army and, accordingly, the number of signal corps cannot be reduced.
Besides realization of superfluous property was forbidden for almost a year that did not allow to reduce a staff which continued to protect the property. There were no efficient means allocated for fulfillment of a target on recycling of superfluous ammunition, therefore about 20 arsenals and warehouses remained to be not reduced.
Gritsenko informed that assistant to the chapter of secretary of president Igor Pukshin was present at a session, he agreed with that offer and assured the members of committees that in two nearest days the president planned to bring in another bill which would provide reduction on to 9 thousand people.
Vladimir Filin, making comments Victor Jushchenko's performance at the meeting in Ministry of Defence, said that "recycling of ammunition and rocket fuel as well as reduction of army with its simultaneous transfer to acquisition under the contract - are absolutely necessary things. Here it is necessary to add gradual approach of military system of Ukraine to the standards of NATO where our country is going to enter in the nearest years.
It's different thing that the president, obviously, tries using army subjects to appear in the center of public attention so that somehow to compensate Julia Timoshenko's public activity after her steps in gas branch of the country and in sphere of payment to the population of old Soviet debts which drew general attention. If it so, Victor Andreevich tries in vain, he won't succeed, Julia Vladimirovna in public sphere will shade him in any case, she will give him a perfect score".
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