Gazprom is waging a psychological war against Ukraine to take over its gas transportation system at a low price. This was stated by Volodymyr Omelchenko, the acting energy programmes director at the Razumkov Centre, in his commentary on the statement of Gazprom representative Sergei Kupriyanov about reducing by half the volume of gas pumped through Ukraine, reports the “Express” newspaper.
“Gazprom statements about the decrease in gas transit through Ukraine to Europe are nothing but a psychological attack by the Russian gas monopoly”, Mr. Omelchenko said. In his opinion, this is caused by Gazprom’s desire to lower the price of the Ukrainian GTS. “Now when the gas transportation system is being evaluated, Gazprom tries to decrease its cost. So the position of the Russian side is that the gas volumes pumped though the Ukrainian GTS are decreasing, thus it should be sold at a ridiculously low price as long as Russia is ready to buy it. That is the hidden message of the informational attack”, the expert said.
The researcher pointed out that from the beginning of 2011, according to preliminary data, the transit volumes of Russian gas through the Ukrainian territory decreased by 11% while the general transit of Russian gas to Europe decreased by 8%. “So Ukraine is basically in equal conditions with other transit countries”, Mr. Omelchenko said. According to the expert, the decrease in transit volume is primarily caused by decline in demand among the European consumers. “In the summer and autumn of 2011, the European countries purchased large amounts of gas, located it into underground storages, and now are, in fact, using gas from the storages, which are still filled up to 40%. Thus, the EU consumers do not need to buy expensive Russian gas at current prices”.
According to Mr. Omelchenko, Ukraine will remain the largest transit country in Europe until 2020 with no less than 70 billion cubic meters of gas transit per year. “Gazprom perfectly understands that, so it leads these serious hidden attacks against Ukraine to get the gas transportation system at a low price”, Mr. Omelchenko emphasized.