I must admit I find the current 'spin' on this story hilarious if somewhat tragic.......and wildly hypocritical given the way ordinary customers are
treated in our markets here in the 'west'.
I must admit I found it rather amusing that the USA has felt moved to make petty trouble-making comments supportive of the old soviet 'client state'
system as opposed to seeing one and all face the rigors of the 'markets'.
How the world turns, eh?
I'd love to see how the various 'western' governments (especially the USA's) would react if the ordinary customers took this kind of line with
their energy suppliers.
Should we all "demand" that the energy price rises seen recently be phased in over several years?!
Given the way home heating oil (something less glamorous than the price of petrol/gas in the headlines and which has been completely ignored but here
at least it has gone from a low of around £85 per 900litres to a current £310) has shot up in recent years that would have been a luxury I'd have
The Ukrainians appear want to move towards a more 'western' kind of political 'stance'.......and ever-more away from Russia.
Good for them.
Their free political choices and all that.
However that comes with a 'price' (as they should know given their history with Russia).
That price being that Russia sees no reason why she should supply them with their gas at the previously favourable and enormously 'knocked-down
Why should they?
The Ukrainians were paying around $55 - $57.5 per 1000 cubic metres of gas......far below the market rate.
The Russians want to charge the Ukrainians the market rate ($220 - $239 per 1000 cubic metres).
The Ukrainians think they have sufficient stocks to withstand this reduction in supply and so have refused to agree to pay the 'market rate'.
Hence the Russians have cut their supply.
Whilst it is true that it would appear there may be some unintended knock-on effects from reducing the gas pressure in the pipelines (and that it
might be the case that the Ukraine may actually be stealing gas from those gas lines that cross their territory) there is actually no current
'threat' of any kind to "western Europe's"! gas supplies.
Nor should there be either, that is IMO typical of the current hysteria in the energy markets.
Ukraine has insisted that Russian proposals - which would see the cost of importing Russian gas quadruple to between $220 and $230 per 1,000
cubic metres - are unacceptable.
Ukraine says it is happy to pay market rates, but wants price increases to be phased in gradually over several years.
........and what kind of unthinking madness is it that would casually suggest that the legitimate desire of a supplying country to see it's customer
country pay the international market rate for a fuel as grounds for a 'regime change', huh?
[edit on 2-1-2006 by sminkeypinkey]