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    February 20, 2015

    "Gas War" between Russia and Ukraine looms large over LPR/DPR gas supplies


    Translated from Russian by J.Hawk

    Vladimir Putin held an emergency meeting with the permanent members of Russia’s Security Council. The President instructed the government to strictly adhere to its contract obligations concerning gas deliveries to Ukraine.

    “I am asking the Russian Federation government to adhere to the contract obligations, and fulfill them to the letter,” the President underscored.

    Dmitriy Medvedev, in turn, said that Kiev will have to pay for all deliveries of gas to Ukraine, including the deliveries using alternative routes to the Donbass. If Ukraine will not pay for gas in its entirety, Russia will be forced to make a “complicated decision”.

    “Our Ukrainian partners will either pay for everything we deliver, or we, as usual, will have to make a complicated decision,” said the Prime Minister.

    A few days ago Ukraine stopped gas deliveries to the Donetsk and Lugansk republics. This caused an emergency situation, and the only gas available for deliveries is in Russia. Therefore, in accordance with government instructions, Gazprom redirected some of the fuel paid for by Ukraine’s Naftogaz to DPR and LPR using a reserve system.

    J.Hawk’s Comment: Having lost the war on the battlefield, the junta is continuing it by other means. They include the cutting off LPR/DPR gas supply and several other measures which seem designed to actually isolate the two republics from the rest of Ukraine and force Russia to more fully integrate them into its own power and energy systems. 

    Russia’s reaction is entirely appropriate—Russia will simply subtract the gas that it sends directly to the Donbass from the volume that Ukraine originally paid for. Should Ukraine fail to submit a full pre-payment, Russia will end gas deliveries to Ukraine. That is the “complex” or “complicated” or perhaps even “difficult” decision (the particular word is difficult to translate because its meaning is context-dependent) that Medvedev alluded to.
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