Today Gazprom got $786 million of its $3.5 billion gas debt payed by the Ukraine government, leaving a past due bill of around $2.8 million, from which point Ukraine shifts to monthly pre payments for the gas and oil provided by Gazprom.
As reported today by RT:
Ukraine has transferred $786 million of its $3.5 billion gas debt to Russia, Ukraine’s coup-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said in Berlin on Friday.
Ukraine’s coup-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Ukraine closed all of its “indisputable” gas bills for Russian gas supplied in February and March.
“We paid for the gas that was priced at $268 per 1,000 cubic meters…These are indisputable bills in our relations with Gazprom. Overall, there’s $786 million in such bills,” he said, as Russia, Ukraine and the EU are holding a third round of energy talks in Berlin.
Remember that $1 billion pledged to Ukraine from Obama in early March, when this whole Ukraine thing was just beginning to unravel. Yup, the U.S. taxpayer just picked up the first instalment of Ukraine’s gas bill. And for those who do not remember the aid package to assist Ukraine in its energy payment, let’s refresh everyone’s memory (via USA Today, March 4, 2014):
The Obama administration announced a $1 billion package of economic and energy aid to Ukraine on Tuesday, part of its emerging response to Russian military activity in Crimea.
Of course, everyone saw this payment coming from a mile away. CNBC even reported that U.S. money directed to Ukraine would eventually find its way to Russian pockets:
Ukraine is desperate for a financial bailout after months of conflict in the former Soviet state, and the West seems eager to hand over the funds. But a lot of that cash could end up going to Ukraine’s chief antagonist: Russia.
“That money could very well indirectly make it toward Russia, given the amount of economic and financial transactions between Kiev and Moscow,” said Stratfor Eurasia analyst Eugene Chausovsky.
Huffington Post was even more skeptical about sending cash over to Yats and Co.
As the United States readies $1 billion in loan guarantees to the new government in Ukraine, along with even more aid for reforming elections and cleaning up corruption, one thing is clear: The public is unlikely to know where that money is going for some time, if ever.
Since 1992, the U.S. has sent $3 billion to $5 billion in aid to Ukraine, with only cursory public disclosure. The U.S. State Department operates an online database, ForeignAssistance.gov, but names of foreign recipients are often left out, and entire sections are blank. Furthermore, the disclosure often comes long after the money has been distributed.
“It is incredibly hard to find this kind of information,” Nicole Valentinuzzi, communications manager for Publish What You Fund, an international organization promoting transparency for foreign aid.
All is not lost America! Your money is in good hands with bobble head ex-central banker, and now coup-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk. He is, after all threatening to take Russia to **gasp** Stockholm Arbitration Court for the remaining balance of the past due bill.
Ukraine will never pay for Russian gas at a price of almost $500 per 1,000 cubic meters, Yatsenyuk added.
He also added Kiev was ready to go to the Stockholm Arbitration Court if gas negotiations on June 2 fail.
Earlier in May, the head of Russia’s Gazprom said that Moscow will cut supplies to Kiev already on June 3 if they don’t pay its debt to Russia.
When was the last time you had an overdue gas bill and had it ruled null and void by a court of law? That’s what I thought. This is not rocket science. If the bill is not paid then the gas is going to be switched off. This is how business is done.
For its part, Russia is patient and measured in it statements simply because they control the taps.
Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said that if Gazprom receives the money, they will examine the nature of the funds, and after that the situation may change.
“First we need to make sure they [Ukraine] want to pay. Any other way of posing the question is impossible. When I hear people saying ‘give us another price and then we’ll pay’… that’s rudeness,” Medvedev said.
European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said Ukraine has enough money to pay for Russian gas.
Eventually the bill will be fully paid by the U.S. and the EU
taxpayers government(s) because without gas then the tanks and airplanes keeping the civil war alive will not be able to run…and the west needs to win this new war, because how else can Obama help promote democracy and protect Ukraine…a country sharing a border with the U.S. and cultural, ethnic, religious and historical ties with America going back hundred and thousands of years…oh wait that doesn’t sound right???
This of course is on top of the already invested $5 billion in U.S. money via the Victoria Nuland fund for colored revolutions, democracy promotion and worldwide global destabilisation.
Meanwhile in Detroit…
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.