Thursday, November 6, 2014

Russian news: The Gas "Deal": Ukraine Says It Can Pay. Can it Really? - Russia Insider

It has taken only a few hours for the Russians and the Ukrainians to quarrel about the agreement that came out of the gas talks on Thursday. The Ukrainians say it is legally binding. The Russians say it is not.

The Russians are right. The Ukrainian published a statement that set out the terms of the Protocol (reproduced here). This says the Protocol is “without prejudice” to the claims being made in a case Ukraine has brought against Russia in the Stockholm Arbitration Court.

What this means is that the Protocol is not a legally binding agreement or contract. It is simply a temporary arrangement between the Ukrainians and the Russians until the final decision is made in the case at the end of 2015.

The Protocol settles little. It is simply Ukraine’s written acceptance of an offer to buy gas at a discounted price the Russians made as far back as June. The price now is a little lower than it was in June. This is not because the Russians have changed their offer. It is because the price of gas is linked to the price of oil, the price of which has fallen since June.

The Ukrainians have been in a position to buy gas under this offer ever since the Russians made it in June. They didn’t do so because they rejected the offer. They have now accepted it.

Complete story at - Russian news: The Gas "Deal": Ukraine Says It Can Pay. Can it Really? - Russia Insider

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