Ukraine Calls Russia's Bluff, Slashes Nat Gas Imports By 80%

Tyler Durden's picture

Twice in recent years, Russia has suspended gas supplies, or notably raised prices, as the somewhat well-known "trump card" of Russia's oil and gas supply to Ukraine (and Europe for that matter) remains Putin's easiest option for clenching his iron-first against the divided nation. Following a pre-emptive move in November by Ukraine to diversify its energy supply,  Russia had reduced the price of gas for the highly indebted Ukraine in December (to entice Ukraine under Russia's wing); but, after recent events, Dmitry Medvedev signaled on Monday that the price could be raised again. However, today we find that Ukraine's state oil and gas company, Naftogaz, has slashed gas imports from Russia's Gazprom by  stunning 80% in February as Ukraine tries to show Russia it can't be pushed around... of course, with limited (and more expensive) alternative supplies, we fear this could well shoot them in the foot.

This action is similar to that taken in November (before the EU accession discussion)...

Russia and Ukraine waged two gas wars over prices in the winters of 2006 and 2009 (which lasted 3 weeks) over a claim Ukraine was late in paying.




Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said that if Gazprom refuses to revise its contract, Ukraine would stop importing gas from Russia. In a step away from energy dependence on Russia, last week Ukraine signed a $10 billion shale gas deal with Chevron.


Ukraine is speeding up its effort to diversify its supply, and has looked at different exporters, fracking, new offshore projects in the Black Sea, as well as new LNG terminals and pipelines to diversify supply. Ukraine imports more than half of its gas from Russia, but under Viktor Yanukovich’s leadership, has intentionally scaled down Gazprom imports 40 percent over ‘unfair prices’.

And now today,

Ukraine's state oil and gas company, Naftogaz, has slashed gas imports from Russia's Gazprom to 28 million cubic meters per day as of February 24 from 147 million, two Russian industry sources told Reuters on Tuesday.


They said Naftogaz had gradually reduced its imports from 147 million cubic meters as of February 1, but did not offer a reason for the cuts.




Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev hinted on Monday that gas prices, reduced as part of a Russian bailout in December, may revert to higher levels.


Ukraine consumes about 55 billion cubic meters of gas each year, and more than half is imported from Russia. Gazprom exported 161.5 billion cubic meters of gas to Europe last year.


A Gazprom official declined to comment on Naftogaz import volumes but said Russian gas transit to Europe was unaffected.

So simply put, they want to show Russia they can't be pushed around... the trouble is, of course, that with alternative supply routes in short-supply (and only more expensive alternatives available)...



...they may well be shooting themselves in the foot. That and the whole being out of money thing too won't help.  Finally, as everyone knows by now, Russia does have the "trump card" no matter how hard to get the Ukraine plays:


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NotApplicable's picture

Dunno, those people seem pretty hot already.

Besides, there's plenty of buildings left to burn.

fx's picture

what a crap! they slashed imports because they have no money to pay for them! GL with these shale gas projects - they may or may not pay off, but they won't come online before 2016 at the earliest. And btw. Medwedew announced that russia was to honor the contract with the lowered gas prices despite the chaos in kiev. And, mind you the 'evil' "russian boy' yanukovich had fought with russia and lowered gas imports. A poor story full of bs and contradictions.

MarsInScorpio's picture



Great points.


SamAdams's picture

Didn't take long for austerity to set in.  This should provide the alternate gas suppliers a handsome profit.  I'm sorry revolutionaries, it's simply supply and demand (but you get to join the EU!).

earnyermoney's picture

The Ukranians will turn on these CIA stooges running the show. I'll give it 6 months. As part of a bailout package, the IMF is demanding Ukraine pay higher gas prices to someone other than Gazprom. LOL

LawsofPhysics's picture

Exactly.  Will be even better when Russia sells the gas/oil to India, China or Iran for real shit (tech or PMs etc.)

Still don't know what happened to Brazil in all this.  Looks like the RIIC countries will do their own thing now for sure.

As I said earlier, go long black markets and sharecropping (especially in the rich Ukrainian soil).

Flakmeister's picture

It took years and years to build the pipeline infrastructure pointed west...

You do not change that overnight...

zerozulu's picture

a successful strategy of IMF, I should say?

Flakmeister's picture

More like Russia wanting to gets its exports to markets that demanded it...

You know, capitalism...

Freddie's picture

There EU pals are already setting them up for Chevron LNG, ADM fructose corn syrup and Monsanto GMO poison.  Who are all these leaders on the streets of the Ukraine from foreign countries?  Hopefully the Ukrainians will figure out who these rats are. 

Ghordius's picture

Freddie, for all it's faults the EU is still somewhat resisting the inroads of the US Agrobusiness lobbyists. don't you hear them shout?

fact is that there are only some 50 GMO plants that are allowed, and if you research a bit you'll find many articles where US Big Food lobbyists claim that EU GMO restrictions and labeling rules is all "consumer scare tactics" and "trade barriers"

indygo55's picture

"fact is that there are only some 50 GMO plants that are allowed, and if you research a bit you'll find many articles where US Big Food lobbyists claim that EU GMO restrictions and labeling rules is all "consumer scare tactics" and "trade barriers""


Bullshit! The foods are the most important foods there are and we cannot either get away from them if we wanted to and we are not allowed to know if they are there anyway,.. Monsanto is protected by the goverment and the people are not allowed to see labeling identifying the GMO. WHY IS THAT?

The Juggernaut's picture

Not sure if the IMF deal for petrol-dollars went through.  Are the Saudi's lining up?

pods's picture

Life imitates art.

Who runs Bartertown?


MarsInScorpio's picture

I see the average for this story is now a 3 - someone voted it a 1.


Now that we now for sure that the trolls are on the gov payroll, is downvoting part of their strategy to discredit the importance of stories and remarks?


Of course it is. What do you think Cult of Reason is all about??


pods's picture

Cult of Reason really had a hard on for this subject. For shits and giggles I clicked to see when he signed up and it said authorization denied. That only happens to people that have been Francis Sawyered.  I am too tired of conspiracies to look any deeper. YMMV.



Urban Redneck's picture

Cult had been lobbing ad hominem insults at the Tylers and ZH integrity for weeks, that's far more patience than I would have had, and after all- it is their site.

Cult was no Francis Sawyer.

pods's picture

My guess is he is local to that area.  Or local to McLean VA.  

Just too much info too soon after something was posted.  Agreed on he is no Francis.

Cheesepopes FTMFW!

I miss trav too. 



LFMayor's picture

all i miss are the tit pics, but I am admittedly a very shallow person :(

Almost Solvent's picture



Fuck Langley!

MeMongo's picture

I miss janus! Lotsa good music links:-) Complex individual apparently though!

fuu's picture

Janus is still around:

Best profile ever really.

Flakmeister's picture

Trav was an interesting study. He definately knew his shit and he made me seem down right polite if you catch my drift...

You may recall that he and I cleaned out essentially all  the energy/oil trolls here..

It would seem that he got shit canned as well, but he denied that in private communications with me. He claimed the site had gone to the dogs and got tired with it... Selfserving revisionism perhaps...

He did become more and more fixated on his percieved shortcomings of Blacks and he finally may have crossed Tylers line in the sand...

The hate always does them in... 

tickhound's picture

Yeah, I had no problems tolerating his fixations to get to the rest of his content. He was unique and distinct. The place could use more of this.

Flakmeister's picture

This is the best "fix" you can get on him (admittedly 5 minutes of google work)


And he is still actively posting elsewhere...

fuu's picture

Love the pastel tattoos.

tickhound's picture

Wherever he is I'm sure he's scaring the fuck out of people unapologetically.

Flakmeister's picture

Yeah.... That's the one...

Tmosely for one ain't going to miss him, Trav used him as a punching bag...

tickhound's picture

Well, and if it's any consolation to Tmo, I see him now using his intelligence to think "outside" the boxes. And that's good enough for me. Having any point contrary to a currently accepted meme is revealing around here, and has exposed this place enough times to be just as much an echo chamber as it is anything that resembles "cutting edge."

ConManipulation's picture

I'm a newb, can someone please fill me in on "Francis Sawyer"?  Or at least just point me to a link..?

Ghordius's picture

allegedly he invented - or introduced to ZH - the term "cheesepope". some very interesting remarks, lots of comments that were deemed as racist. I haven't checked, but his mourners write that his comments were deleted

imo a bit overblown. fact is that ZH's servers are in a jurisdiction that allows free speech, but applies some legal constraints on form. and does not allow anything that does incite to violence, particularly if done regularly and systematically. something that upholders of 1st Amendment rights regularly misunderstand when confronted with continental european legal culture

in short, I remember he was often about Jews, moar Jews, Zionists & Israel

meanwhile, if Cult of Reason was indeed banned... well, ZH is a private site, isn't it? Insulting your host is not polite. I once made Tyler an offer to buy it (the offer was serious), but his price was... impossible

smlbizman's picture

francis is still around~~~~~~~~~~~~read the tea leaves

Urban Redneck's picture

I get 426 results just with cheesepope from google, so it may be some people using the built-ZH search function- which I'm guessing doesn't include the archive server for performance reasons.

And his last pseudo-explanation of "cheesepope" but it doesn't really carry water in light of the concurrent timing of the multiple ZH policy changes to move in-line with the various applicable Swiss laws.

BTW - on the subject of it being their site, while what was once taboo (to at least one of the Tylers) may be acceptable now, I had similar experience (with a substantial documentation) on the subject of reported changes gold ETFs, so in light of the .gov troll issue, .il troll issue, there is still the ever-present .bankster troll issue (and their army of lawyers) to be wary of.

ConManipulation's picture

Aaaahhhh...many thanks for that!

Flakmeister's picture

He was a Holocaust denying anti-semite that consistently blamed Jews for every evil on the earth...

He however could be very clever and was clearly no dummy as he was very skilled at rhetoric...

Does that remind you of anyone?

pods's picture

Come on Flak, that is canned B list Ad Hominems.

I will leave it to others to search his posts to see what he wrote.  From a cursory glance they are there.

Francis did not like the new policy that Tyler implemented on the site.
Tyler did speak of it in a post about spending time defending our sandbox from lawsuits, as it is hosted in Switzerland, or was.

This issue is bigger than Francis, Tyler, us or the CADL.  

I will end it with this quote that pretty much sums it up:

"To learn who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize."

-attributed to Voltaire.


Ghordius's picture

and who exactly can't be criticized, here on ZH? Jews? How many are there, 15 millions? All of them?

just before this degenerates into one of those strange discussions: here on the european continent we seriously tried to exterminate them and other groups. please some respect for our laws that take this wee bit in account

pods's picture

I have no respect for laws that forbid discussion of topics.

If things were so tight with the common meme of the (last) Holocaust, why would you jail people who dare to even question it?

I can understand Tyler making whatever rules he wishes. But that won't stop people from asking questions.  And this is a larger topic that is independent of ZH.

Like how many HIV "infected" people are dying today from AZT, when in reality, there was never a causal link found between HIV and AIDS?

(look that up if you want to see how being right can kill people)

When you can't ask questions because something is right, you stop learning.

Global Warming and Climate Change?

Unless you are of that protected group, you cannot say anything?

If that is free speech, I sure as fuck don't want to be a part of it.  And we better stop calling it "free," maybe call it "right" speech.




Flakmeister's picture

There is a difference between legitmate discusion and the attempt to use discredited sources to further a revisionist agenda...

Have you ever known anyone with serial number tattoed on their arm? I have...

Johnny Cocknballs's picture

This is too clever. Any source which goes against the narrative will be deemed "discredited" by you and your cognitive ilk a priori.

You're not even good at pretending to be honest.

There is some truth to the idea, as Finkelstein suggested, that there is a religion formed around this issue.  I don't doubt some things are fabricated and obvious fakes/forgeries - but this is the case with much of history. And the reverse. The Israelis destroyed Palestinian villages and erased their history as much as possible, while making absurd claims about their own actually poorly documented connection to the land [relative to the Egyptian or Assyrian cultures].

I had an epiphany one day - I didn't have to be intimidated by bullshit smears. 

This exchange helped:

I highly suggest you view the above if you aren't familiar with it.  To me, you are the girl in the audience.

I'd be ashamed if I weren't as honest as I could be.

Why aren't you?

Flakmeister's picture

Talk about strawmen and red herrings...

This is all about your views and stated opinion that the Holocaust was not as bad as it has been made out...

Since you seem to feel that the official narrative is wrong, just how many Jews were gassed? And where?

When ~80% of all you posts disparage Jews and Zionism, well, it ain't hard to determine what is motivating your question of Holocaust numbers....

Johnny Cocknballs's picture

you're using both "strawmen" and "red herring" wrong. 

I'm tired of this Flak.  It's a waste of both of our time -I think you'll agree with me on that.

Flakmeister's picture

Fucking right you are tired of this....

No, I think that right now, it is very good use of my time...

You are a fucking piece of shit....

Johnny Cocknballs's picture

And you are too stupid to understand the point, shithead.  You failed to address Katyn or the # reduction I mentioned or why you know that despite the fact there have been many revisions to the facts, it should be illegal or otherwise dismissed as hate to quesiton this single item.

You're a dumb, dishonest clown.

And a real piece of shit coward.

Flakmeister's picture

Quit evading the question..

No one cares about Katyn and how the USSR snookered the West (for a while) about Soviet involvement...

You publically stated here that the number of Holocaust victims was overstated, so just how many Jews died at the hands of the Nazis?

Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Thanks Johnny, someone shared this with me before and I was was mesmerized especially with the audience's response. It was very apropos to the discussion and I very much appreciated you posting it. I am inspired there are some who do stand against the "only acceptable" viewpoints promulgated today. Universities were once bastions of new thought and debate. Now only indoctrination centers for the most part.