Now, in 2021, when the whole world accuses Russia of politically motivating the construction of a gas pipeline to Europe, no one remembers the reasons why Russia decided on this project. And I decided to remind about these reasons.
Ukrainian gas pipeline and blackmail
Let’s remember December 2008. Ukraine takes transit gas from its gas pipeline that does not belong to it, and frankly, it steals gas. The reason for this theft is the economic crisis in Ukraine and the lack of energy to heat people’s homes in a harsh winter. Ukraine cannot pay for Russian gas and requires it to be provided free of charge in exchange for ensuring gas transit to Europe. Let me remind you that in 2008 there was a special price for gas for Ukraine $ 179.5 per thousand cubic meters. In addition, Ukraine did not pay at all for all supplied Russian gas in 2008.
Russia could not control the consumption of transit gas in the Ukrainian gas pipeline, which allowed Ukraine to consume transit gas for its own needs. Thus, in November and December 2008, Ukraine pumped 14 billion cubic meters of gas into its gas storage facilities, reducing the supply of gas to Europe. In Europe, they began to accuse Russia of cutting gas supplies and not fulfilling contractual obligations. Nobody even remembered about Ukraine about the fact that it was Ukraine who appropriated the transit gas. Because of this, Ukraine began to put pressure on Russia, demanding low prices for Russian gas and high fees for gas transit to Europe. In case of refusal, Ukraine threatened to continue taking transit gas from the pipeline.
Europe refused to negotiate gas transit with Ukraine
A strange thing: Russia cannot control the Ukrainian gas pipeline, but is responsible for supplying gas through the Ukrainian gas pipeline to Europe. In this situation, Russia had to increase the supply of gas to the Ukrainian gas pipeline in order for European consumers to receive gas. Despite the huge gas losses in the Ukrainian gas pipeline.
However, the loss of transit gas in the Ukrainian gas pipeline for Russia is a very high price for the Russian economy. In this situation, Russia offered European buyers to purchase Russian gas at the border between Russia and Ukraine. Europe had to negotiate with Ukraine on gas transit independently. In my opinion, this is a very logical and correct decision.
But in Europe they understood that Ukraine was an unreliable partner and abandoned this option. Europe can still buy gas on the border between Russia and Ukraine, but for some reason it does not. Why? How, after that, does Europe have the courage to accuse Russia that it is she who reduces gas transit through Ukraine? I do not understand!
Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2
Nord Stream and Nord Stream 2 are very expensive investment projects for Russia, which should rule out any unforeseen situations in gas supplies to Europe. The myth that these projects are politically motivated is completely untenable and illogical. Why would Russia spend money on building new gas pipelines? To then threaten to cut off gas supplies? Let me tell you a huge secret Russia can simply cut off gas supplies, without building new pipelines. Just answer one main question: has Russia at least once in history threatened to cut off gas supplies to Europe?
Gentlemen, be logical and reasonable!