Article by: Arseniy Yatseniuk, Prime Minister of Ukraine
Putin wants to drag us into a long war, to freeze us by taking advantage of the lack of gas and disconnecting electricity. He evoked a wave of protests inside the country. He realized that Blitzkrieg would not succeed, so now he has started a long-term war.
In order to survive the winter, Norwegian gas will not be enough for Ukraine. We have already replaced 60% of the gas we bought from Russia with EU supplies. As such, we saved $0.5 billion on the price in regard to the temporary price offered by Putin. The State Statistics Service published the average price of gas for Ukraine at $340. It is not the $500 stated in Putin’s contract, and not even the $385 he offered with the temporary discount. We won partially; however, in order to survive the winter, Ukraine needs another 5 billion cubic meters.
The most likely solution to the gas supply issue is to receive a temporary court order from the Stockholm Court. They have such a procedure as a means of caution, as the court investigation may last a long time: a year, a year and a half.
The next round of gas talks will take place on October 29. I hope that the court procedure will make Gazprom compromise. We sent in the documents two weeks ago, the decision will be made within thirty days. This means that before the first ten days of November are over, if the Russians do not try to delay the process, the court will make a decision, independently establishing the price and conditions for gas supplies.
The second scenario is signing an agreement with Russia. However, at the moment Russia is refusing even the proposals it sent us before. It has become obvious that Ukraine is ready to sign a joint agreement with the EU on temporary gas supplies. Putin’s main goal is to freeze Ukraine. What are we to do? Europe may help if we open a big reversal and big volumes of gas are supplied through it. Then we will survive the winter.
Another option is to transition some of the thermal power plants to heavy oil. We have some of the oil we can process, but we will have to buy some. It won’t be warm, but we will manage the winter.