EU: during Yulia Tymoshenko’s premiership Ukraine-Russia gas relations became transparent

16:45, 20 July 2012
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European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton say the gas agreement signed between Ukraine and Russia while Yulia Tymoshenko was prime minister increased the transparency of relations between the two countries in the energy sector, according to Official web site of Yulia Tymoshenko.

"We have experience of problems in the energy relationship between Ukraine and Russia. This has affected the EU as well. The January 2009 gas crisis remains fresh in the memories of many Europeans. We were very pleased that a way out was found, through an agreement between Naftogaz Ukraine and Gazprom. This agreement increased transparency in the gas relationship between the two countries, even if there is further work to be done in this regard," Jose Manuel Barroso and Catherine Ashton said in an interview with the Razumkov Center.

For this reason, the European leaders are warning the governments of Ukraine and Russia about the consequences of discussions regarding lowering the price for natural gas. "It is important that on-going talks between Ukraine and Russia on lowering the price for gas do not undermine Ukraine`s compliance with Energy Community Treaty commitments, nor threaten the delivery of gas to Europe. We pay particular attention to this; Commissioner Oettinger has already expressed our readiness for trilateral talks with Ukraine and Russia. EU-Ukraine-Russia energy relations were also the subject of our last Summit with Russia, in December 2011. We made it clear that the ongoing discussions between Russia and Ukraine concerning the price and volumes of gas must not lead to a situation where deliveries of gas to the EU could be threatened," they stressed.

Jose Manuel Barroso and Catherine Ashton noted that in March 2009, the EU, together with International Financial Institutions, committed to support the modernization of Ukraine`s Gas Transit System (GTS), if Ukraine would implement necessary reforms bringing transparency into the energy sector. "Restructuring of Naftogaz Ukraine is key in this regard, as it is also for balancing the budget. The EU, Ukraine and Russia have a shared interest in ensuring that the chain from producer via transit country to clients in Europe works smoothly. We are also open to ideas of a three-way consortium on the GTS, implemented in a clear, market-based manner," they said.

"While tri-lateral energy co-operation on mutually interesting terms is high on the agenda, the EU`s relationship with Ukraine is in no way a function of its relationship with Russia. These are separate relationships. As said, our relationship with Ukraine is firmly rooted on a presupposition of shared values, aiming at political association and economic integration. The Union does not see the world in terms of zero-sum games, but through the lens of win-win solutions. Thus, our approach to Ukraine is not geo-strategically conditioned, and develops solely on the merits of the success of Ukraine`s reforms and the quality of her democracy. This is a key point to keep in mind," they concluded.

On 11 October 2011 the Pechersk District Court of Kyiv sentenced Yulia Tymoshenko to seven years in prison for alleged abuse of authority during the signing of gas contracts with Russia in 2009 and ordered her to pay Naftohaz more than 1.5 billion hryvnias in damages she allegedly caused the company.

On 23 December 2011 the Kyiv Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s illegal ruling.

On 26 January 2012 Yulia Tymoshenko’s defense team filed an appeal with the High Specialized Court of Ukraine for Civil and Criminal Cases. The court has yet to begin considering the merits of their appeal.

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