Expert: Ukraine may play into Turkmenistan's hands to raise natural gas price

Turkmenistan Materials 28 June 2006 10:54 (UTC +04:00)

(REGNUM) - In settling gas issues between Ukraine and Russia, one should create such a negotiation strategy that would not destroy a delicate balance which exists between the two countries in their relations concerning prices, Ukrainian energy expert Alexander Narbut stated on June 26 on air at Ukrainian Era Radio, commenting on Ukrainian Prime Minister Candidate Yulia Timoshenkos initiative to reconsider natural gas agreements.

Undoubtedly, if one analyzes the whole package of agreements signed on January 4, it contains many points that need to be considerably revised and, perhaps, dropped, reports Trend. On the other hand, we are at a boundary when it is very important both to pump gas into storages and not to play into Turkmenistans hands in their desire to raise price. Competing for certain gas amounts, we could play into Turkmenistans hands anyway, since they may take advantage from our contradictions with Russia. Really, the advantage is already contained in the preliminary agreements, since we all remember what their provisions for Ukraines sounded like: $50 in the first half of the year and $60 in the second one. For Russia it meant $65 from the start, so Russia had to outplay Ukraine, also in the gas pricing issue.

It is very important for us to find such formula of mutual understanding with Russia at this stage that would bring us back to the logic of gradual price changes for Ukraine without damage to our strategic goals, as well as help us keep this years balance in the framework of January 4 agreements.