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Edward Lucas, a columnist for the British journal Economist, believes that the new gas conflict between Ukraine and Russia is caused by Kiev’s move to Europe.
“It is absolutely clear that when Ukraine moves in the direction of the West, Russia finds a reason to complain and finds some kind of provocation and, in my opinion, this is certainly one of them” – he stressed.
However, he believes that Ukraine’s position in negotiations with Russia is quite strong. “Medvodov will not want to start his public activity, although he is not yet at the post because of a dispute with Ukraine, as a result of which supplies to Europe will suffer. Therefore, to some extent, Ukraine’s position in the negotiations can be quite strong” – explained Lucas.
He also called into question the existence of such a company as RosUkrEnergo.
“The question that I would like to ask the Russians is who owns RosUkrEnergo? Since, from a Western point of view, it is absolutely surprising that such a company exists at all, not to mention being involved in such important issues.” , – he said.
“I think that RosUkrEnergo is a symptom of all this vagueness and corruption that surrounds Gazprom. I am convinced that, if necessary, RosUkrEnergo can be used to say that they did not pay the money – as well as when they If they want to close the problem, RosUkrEnergo may announce that it is completely satisfied. But this is a real source of the problem, “Lucas said.
He called RosUkrEnergo a litmus test for any Ukrainian politician.
“It would be very desirable for Ukraine to have a unified position on this issue (the existence of RosUkrEnergo). And if the Russians insisted that this opaque corrupt structure exist, then the Ukrainians could give the rest of the world a very good lesson – look, they say, we want changes and the Russians don’t allow us, “he said.
He also criticized the EU’s position on the gas conflict between Ukraine and Russia. “In my opinion, the EU’s indecision regarding Ukraine is very sad. In fact, if Europe is concerned about Russia, the best thing it can do about this is to make EU relations with Ukraine really successful,” he said.
“If we succeed in making a successful European partner from the former communist big Slavic country, this will downplay Putin’s arguments,” he added.
Lucas also advised Ukraine to diversify the sources from which the country receives gas, use gas more efficiently and ensure transparency. RosUkrEnergo did not appear out of nowhere. Ukrainians are also attracted there. And the new government still has a lot to do to prove its transparency. If they succeed, it will expose the different intentions of Russia” – he said.