Gazprom announces that it will seek to terminate contracts for gas supplies and transmission through Ukraine. Does this mean that it will turn off the gas tap?
Zajdler: The contract contains the terms of its termination
– The commencement of the termination of transit contracts and natural gas supplies means the will to terminate cooperation in this area – said Dr. Robert Zajdler, an expert at the Sobieski Institute, in an interview with BiznesAlert.pl. – The timetable and rules for the termination of such cooperation depend on the specific rules set out in the agreements mentioned above. If they provide for the possibility of their termination earlier, each side may use this right. Agreements may foresee the consequences of their early termination, but it all depends on the detailed provisions of both agreements.
Kardaś: Gazprom reacts emotionally, it will bid high
According to Dr. Szymon Kardas, an expert at the Center for Eastern Studies (OSW), Gazprom’s activities are the result of surprise and disappointment in the resolution of the last dispute with Naftogaz.
– Gazprom will bid high. It is not easy to terminate such contracts. Gazprom has announced the launch of such a procedure. This shows that the company is also surprised and offended by the last verdict of the arbitral tribunal. In a sense, the prestige of Gazprom and Russia has been severely tarnished. This is a very emotional response – said the interviewee of BiznesAlert.pl
He noted, however, that due to the fact that the said procedure lasts quite a long time, Gazprom’s announcement in the near future will not cause any consequences for transmission through Ukraine. – For the Russian side, stopping transit through Ukraine would be lethal and counter-productive – said Dr. Kardaś.
According to him, Gazprom’s actions are a clear signal that has two recipients. – The European Union is the main one. The resolution of the arbitration broke up the Russian narrative that Ukraine is a problem. You can not discredit it if you lose your legal dispute yourself. At the time, you are guilty of violating the contract and not the party that has been accused of it for years. Therefore, the Russians are eager to find a way to make Ukraine come back as a problem in tripartite discussions, which ultimately aims to convince the unconvinced that projects such as Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream are necessary – said the expert.
A dispute over arbitration
Gazprom has joined the procedure of terminating all agreements with Ukraine signed so far – the company said in a press release. Despite this, it does not intend to suspend gas transit through Ukraine in the near future. The case was reported on March 2 BiznesAlert.pl.