In the background of the Tymoshenko trial, there may be yet another Russia-Ukraine gas war brewing. Last week, Prime Minister Putin flipped the switch on the first stage of a triple-threaded Nord Stream pipeline underneath the Baltic Sea that Russia hopes will eventually allow it to deliver all its’ gas directly through Europe bypassing the old Soviet pipelines that travel throughout Ukraine and Belarus, who have tried to play politics with Russia over gas. Fortunately, for Ukraine and others the second and third pipelines are on the drawing board at best, meaning Russia is still dependent on Ukraine.
Ukraine already stands to lose a quarter of gas pumped to Europe meaning a substantial loss in transit fees. This as Ukraine fumes at having to pay prices higher than Germany for gas. This is an estimated 20% of the national budget and a five to six billion dollar overpay according to Ukrainian officials. President Yankovich wants to renegotiate the deal but the Kremlin will probably demand concessions Kiev is unwilling to make. Source: http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Europe/2011/0908/Nord-Stream-pipeline-gives-Russia-edge-in-European-gas-wars.
I don’t want to see anyone frozen out through use of the energy weapon by Russia, Ukraine, or any other country. And all of this gas tit for tat makes for epic villains and no heroes. I wish this situation a peaceful end.