Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ukraine updates June12 , 2014 --- Gazprom seems to be tiring of Kiev games ( Gazprom not to postpone gas payment deadline for Ukraine anymore ) , no more delays and the bill is due June 16 , 2014 or else advance payment will kick in............ Status of South East Ukraine and did the Kiev Authorities use white phosphorus on civilians ? Wonder if the UN will bother to say anything about this ?

Gas talks clogged ......


Gazprom: Ukraine Gas Supplies Will Halt Monday Without Payment

CEO Urges Ukraine to Pay Its Bills

by Jason Ditz, June 12, 2014
Ukraine managed to duck a gas shutoff earlier this month, but after the latest round of talks on their debt and pricing disputes with Russian exporter Gazprom ended in a stalemate, they’re facing another.
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller warned today that because of Ukraine’s sizable debt they are on a prepayment system, and if they don’t prepay for any gas, they won’t receive any.
“If Ukraine pays for no volume at all, it means that gas shipments to Ukraine will be zero,” Miller noted. Ukraine’s government has spurned the prepayment scheme, and complained about Gazprom’s plan to charge them the same rate as other European nations, $485 per 1,000 cubic meters.
The last round of talks centered on the price issue, with Russian officials offering $385 per, and Ukraine insisting they would pay no more than $268.50, the level the previous Ukrainian government was paying.


Yatsenyuk issues order to establish economically justified tariffs for Russian gas

 June 13, 19:07 UTC+4
Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk instructed the ministries to prepare for a plan that envisions the halt in Russian gas supplies from June 16
Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk

© ITAR-TASS/Maxim Nikitin
KIEV, June 13. /ITAR-TASS/. Ukraine’s parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has instructed the ministries, Naftogaz of Ukraine and regional state administrations to prepare for a plan that envisions the halt in Russian gas supplies from June 16.
He also instructed the National Electricity Regulatory Commission to establish economically justified tariffs for transporting Russian natural gas on the territory of Ukraine, the government press service said on Friday.
























Gazprom not to postpone gas payment deadline for Ukraine anymore
 June 12, 19:00 UTC+4
Gazprom's head said the current situation differed from that in 2009 when “Ukraine paid, whereas now it is not paying and is not going to”
© EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV
MOSCOW, June 12./ITAR-TASS/. Gazprom will not postpone the payment deadline for Ukraine anymore, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said on Thursday, June 12.
The current deadline is 10:00 Moscow time June 16, when Gazprom should see $1.951 billion on its accounts. Otherwise, the company will move over to advance payments in settlements with Ukraine. “If nothing has been paid, nothing will be supplied,” Miller said.
Naftogaz of Ukraine should pay $1.454 billion for gas supplies in November and December 2013 and show progress in paying for April and May, he said.
Ukraine’s debt had grown by $2 billion during the trilateral consultations between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union, and now Kiev has to pay for 11.150 billion cubic metres of gas supplies to Ukraine up to date, Miller said.
He described Ukraine’s position at the talks as “blatant blackmail”, “absurd, ultimatum-like and unconstructive”.
Miller said the current situation differed from that in 2009 when “Ukraine paid, whereas now it is not paying and is not going to”.
He said parliament-appointed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk had upset the last round of gas talks with his statement that Ukraine would not pay more than $268 per 1,000 cubic metres of gas.
The European Union found Yatsenyuk’s statement inopportune, he added.
If gas is a political weapon, then this is a political weapon in the hands of the Russian government. If gas is a commodity, as it is in the rest of the world, we trade on the basis of a contract, not on the basis of whether Russia likes the Ukrainian government or notArseniy YatsenyukParliament-appointed Prime MinisterYatsenyuk also said his government was insisting on changes to the effective gas contract. “If gas is a political weapon, then this is a political weapon in the hands of the Russian government. If gas is a commodity, as it is in the rest of the world, we trade on the basis of a contract, not on the basis of whether Russia likes the Ukrainian government or not,” he said.
The current price of Russian gas for Ukraine is $485 per 1,000 cubic metres. Ukraine is insisting on the price of $268.5.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak suggested returning to the 2010 agreement under the current contract effective until 2019, which will set the price at $385 per 1,000 cubic metres.
The new price has been in effect since June 1. “The overall debt for the supplies in April and May is $2.3 billion”, he said.
Miller said that Ukraine had taken 3.5 billion cubic metres of gas in May and 2.7 billion cubic metres in April.
Initially, the debt for the first two months of the second quarter was put at $3 billion based on the price of $485.5 per 1,000 cubic metres.
Under the contract between Naftogaz of Ukraine and Gazprom, the price of gas supplied to Ukraine is determined by the formula that is pegged to the price of oil. “This formula is used everywhere in the world for pipeline gas supplies. Therefore there are no grounds to discuss the price today and especially unilaterally offer the first quarter price of $268 per 1,000 cubic metres as the Ukrainian authorities are doing,” Novak said.
However, Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuriy Prodan said the gas price of $385 per 1,000 cubic metres offered by Russia to Ukraine was not the best one on the market.
“We have many proposals, including on reverse flow supplies at a price much lower than $385. Given the transit across Ukraine and back to European countries, we can say that Gazprom’s price can be lower than what European suppliers are offering now,” the minister said.
Prodan said an acceptable gas price for Ukraine could be within the range of $268.5 to $385.
“If the matter is examined in the Stockholm court, Ukraine will be prepared to agree to the compromise price proposed by the European Commission. I do not want to name it, but it is within the range of $268.5 to $385 per 1,000 cubic metres,” Prodan said.
He believes that the only way to settle the gas dispute with Russia is to take the matter to the Stockholm court of arbitration.
Prodan said Ukraine was ready to continue the gas talks “while waiting for the decision of the Stockholm court of arbitration”.
“We will disagree if any part of the price depends on a government decision. We want to change the entire pricing mechanism,” the minister said.
INFOGRAPHICSRussian gas in EuropeRussian gas in Europe
One-third of gas consumed in EU comes from Russia. Infographics ITAR-TASS
European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said Russia’s Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine should come to agreement on the price of gas and volumes of supplies for the next 12-15 months as a minimum.
Oettinger said Ukraine considered the price of $385 overstated and depending on a political decision of the Russian government.
He urged Russia and Ukraine to coordinate their positions at all levels, including that of the heads of state, in the next few days.
He said the European Commission hoped to get a solution to the gas issue by next Monday, June 16.


Lavrov is surprised by Brussels’ calls for Russia-Ukrainian gas talks at highest level

 June 12, 13:55 UTC+4
“If the negotiations were, but do not have any authorities, it would not be easy,” Russian Foreign minister said
© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko
MOSCOW, June 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is surprised by the urge from Brussels to organize the gas negotiations between Russia and Ukraine at the highest level.
“I have heard (this statement), but I do not understand, what they mean,” Lavrov told reporters. “If the negotiations were, but do not have any authorities, it would not be easy”.
Earlier, three-party gas talks in Brussels have ended without an agreement, the negotiations will continue, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Wednesday after talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union.
Russia will introduce prepayment mode for natural gas supplies to Ukraine if Kiev fails to pay debt by 09:00 Moscow time (05:00 GMT) on June 16, the minister added.
The volumes of April-May gas supplies to Ukraine should be paid in full to the tune of $2.3 billion, Alexander Novak said.
He explained that the $500 million tranche should be received by June 16, and the remaining part of Ukraine’s debt to the tune of $1.8 billion by June 26.
Novak said the $2.3 billion debt repayment is part of a package agreement


RIA Novosti......


Lavrov Says No Need to Replace OSCE Roadmap on Ukraine With New Deals

Sergey Lavrov meets with OSCE Secretary General Lamberto Zannier
17:29 11/06/2014
Tags: OSCESergei LavrovUkraineRussia
MOSCOW, June 11 (RIA Novosti) – Attempts to replace the roadmap on Ukraine, originally prepared by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), with new unilateral deals are counterproductive, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Wednesday.
«We are convinced that the roadmap, welcomed by all foreign players, should serve as a basis for efforts to settle the crisis. We consider counterproductive any attempts to choose separate components from the roadmap and ignore other [provisions] or to replace the roadmap with some new plans, which are unilateral and unbalanced," the minister said.
He said the international organization’s monitors should continue their mission in Ukraine, but their work needs to become more objective.
«We think that this work needs to be continued, but become more precise, substantive and its objectiveness should be ensured," Lavrov said.
The organization’s secretary general, Lamberto Zannier, expressed grave concern that the OSCE monitors, who went missing in Ukraine in May, have not yet been released. He said their detention is unacceptable, urging their immediate release.
Zannier confirmed the OSCE  is not planning to end its activities in Ukraine’s eastern region of Luhansk. During a meeting with Lavrov, Zannier said that he was concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine and called on Kiev to start dialogue in the coming days.
Russia’s top diplomat also invited the OSCE chief to meet with Ukrainian refugees who have fled to the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don in order to get a comprehensive picture of events in the country.
«We think this is important to get a full picture, to talk to witnesses of these events, to have a clear and unbiased insight into what is going on in southeastern Ukraine," Lavrov said after a meeting with Zannier in Moscow.
On Sunday, OSCE spokesman Michael Bociurkiw told reporters in Kiev that the organization remains out of touch with a four-member international team seized by independence supporters in the Donetsk region on May 26 as well as four European monitors and a local translator who went missing in the neighboring Luhansk region on May 29.
Violence in eastern Ukraine has been on the rise since the beginning of a punitive operation launched by Kiev authorities in mid-April and has claimed dozens of civilian lives.
Moscow has repeatedly stated that Kiev must stop its military operation in eastern Ukraine and start direct dialogue with independence supporters.


Ukraine to Close Eastern Border With Russia – Reports

Сar border crossing on the Ukrainian-Russian border (Archive)
12:46 11/06/2014
Tags: Russian-Ukrainian borderUkraineRussia
MOSCOW, June 11 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine plans to close the border with Russia in the east, Anton Gerashchenko, an aide to the Ukrainian interior minister told Ukrainian TV “Channel 5” Wednesday.
“Various means should be considered but, of course, the border will be closed immediately. Necessary tools and methods are being provided for that,” he said.
Earlier Ukrainian authorities decided to partly close the border in the east of the country, where a military operation against freedom supporters continues. Currently eight border crossing checkpoints are closed.
According to the Ukrainian government, Russian armed groups have been penetrating to the eastern territory of Ukraine through the border. Russia has not confirmed this information.
Answering a question about the possibility of mining the border, Gerashchenko said that “mining the home territory represents a danger for the citizens of Ukraine and for animals,” adding that national security is the highest consideration, but all pros and cons should be weighed.
According to the aide, there are many methods aside from mining, but they all require time and money and currently there is none of this in Ukraine.
Mass anti-government protests began in the southeastern regions of Ukraine in the end of February 2014 as a response of local residents to the military coup in Ukraine followed by an attempt of the new authorities to abolish the law that insured the regional status of Russian language in those areas.
The Luhansk and Donetsk People’s Republics declared themselves independent states following a May 11 referendum and soon started to form governments and law enforcement agencies.
Kiev refused to recognize the legitimacy of any of these decisions and has continued the military operation against the independence supporters in the regions.
Violence in eastern Ukraine has been on the rise since the beginning of a punitive operation launched by Kiev authorities in mid-April and has claimed dozens of civilian lives.
Moscow has repeatedly stated that Kiev must stop its military operation in eastern Ukraine and start direct dialogue with independence supporters.


http://rt.com/news/165628-ukraine-incendiary-bombs-phosphorus/

Residents of Slavyansk and its suburbs were awoken overnight on Thursday by what they say were incendiary bombs that were dropped on their city by Kiev’s military. Witnesses and local media reports suggested that the bombs might be phosphorous.
Much of the village of Semyonovka, located in the Slavyansk suburbs, was set ablaze. Local residents told RT that the ground didn't stop burning for some time.
“We all saw what happened here yesterday. They used rocket launchers as well as incendiary bombs against us. The ground was on fire. How can the ground burn by itself. It burned for about forty minutes,” resident Roman Litvinov told RT over the phone.
“Starting from 2 a.m. everyone I’ve met has a sore throat and is coughing all the time. I think this is because of the burning. I think we’ll feel the true consequences later. There are still a lot of people here, a lot of children we haven’t managed to get out yet,” resident Tatyana told RT.
The use of incendiary bombs – designed to start fires using materials such as napalm, white phosphorus or other dangerous chemicals – is strictly prohibited by the UN.
Kiev authorities have denied reports that such weapons were used against civilians. The National Guard also refuted reports that phosphorous ammunition was used, its press service stated.
Slavyansk, an industrial city in southeastern Ukraine with a population of over 100,000 people, has been a focal point of the government’s crackdown against the region. The city’s residential area has been under regular artillery fire for weeks.
“It does appear that there is at least a case to be argued that something similar, if not itself white phosphorous, was used overnight. I’ve seen the video, I’ve looked at it closely...[there are] whole signs, whole marks of white phosphorous use. For example, a very bright light burning and multiple burns coming down from the sky. It’s an airburst weapon that has been used, such as a mortar or a manned aircraft,” Charles Shoebridge, a former army officer, Scotland Yard detective, and counter-terrorism intelligence officer who has recently returned from Ukraine, told RT.
“White phosphorous cannot be put out with the use of water” and it will “burn through one’s body to the bone,” Shoebridge added. “If there is going to be large amounts used it can also be a poison – large amounts can be set to contaminate water supply.”
According to the video, “it’s very likely that white phosphorus" was used, Shoebridge added. “It’s very difficult to fabricate the video we saw combined with the evidence on the ground.”
Moscow demanded an immediate investigation into the reported use of incendiary bombs in Ukraine, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Thursday.
"We are concerned to hear reports that the Ukrainian military forces use incendiary bombs and some other indiscriminate weapons," he said. "These reports should be probed into immediately."
On Thursday, Russia introduced a draft resolution to the UN Security Council that condemns attacks on residential quarters and civilian facilities in southeastern Ukraine, said Vitaly Churkin, Russian envoy to the UN.
He also voiced concern over reports of the use of prohibited ammunition, including incendiary bombs, during the military crackdown.
The draft resolution calls for an immediate end to all violence and for a lasting ceasefire.
"The draft resolution will aim to stop the violence and support the political efforts the OSCE has been undertaking in vain so far. We urge the UN Secretary-General to support them," Churkin said, adding that its adoption would demonstrate the UNSC’s support for the crisis settlement efforts.