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Premium article: Russia complains about the increase in EU’s gas transit tariffs


Russia complains that the new European regulations on transit tariffs for natural gas result in an increase by several times in prices paid by Gazprom. On Friday, at the end of the 9th session of the joint Romanian – Russian Intergovernmental Commission, head of the Federal Agency “Rossotrudnicestvo” Konstantin Kosaciov stated: “In the gas field, cooperation goes normally, but problems may occur. Not because of Romania or Russia, but of the European Commission and of the Third Energy Package. It’s about tariffs for gas transit, which will increase by several times. Russia discusses with the European Union in this regard”. [cleeng_content id=”268939306″ description=”Buy this translation today. This article has 4708 characters with spaces. ” price=”7.49″ t=”article”]Russia seeks transmission alternatives to Europe to avoid transit over long distances. If Russia and the EU don’t reach an agreement, our country risks losing important amounts of money from transit (the transfer of Russian gas to other countries through our pipelines, managed by Transgaz). Transit issues have nothing to do with our gas imports from Russian Federation. The representative of the Russian delegation explained: “The European Commission does not recognize the transit notion and wants to impose a new method for the calculation of gas transit tariffs, which would result in higher costs for the Russian group Gazprom. Transit contracts between Romania and Russia are concluded until 2015 and 2023. Russia sees no legal obstacle, we will meet all our contractual obligations. The question is what happens afterwards, because the conditions of the new contracts are unacceptable for Russia. Our mission is to favor direct contracts”. Economy Minister Varujan Vosganian has stated that he had discussed with the Russian representatives about the direct gas import issue: “There is such an opportunity. The Russian side has shown interest to remain a partner of Romania. We did not discuss about a deadline, but it’s an unavoidable objective”. Works of the joint Romanian – Russian Commission were focused on several areas, including energy, agriculture, transportation and scientific research. The Romanian side mentioned a number of objectives in the energy, steel industry, chemical industry, agriculture, infrastructure areas, in which it’s expected the collaboration of business environments from Russia. “There is a major interest of Romania to use the potential of the Russian market. In this area we are interested in increasing exports of agricultural products to Russia”, Minister Vosganian stated. According to him, talks in the energy sector had a significant share: “We mentioned the cooperation in developing the infrastructure for the underground gas storage on Romania’s territory, the participation of Russian companies to the construction and upgrade of high-efficiency cogeneration power plants in Romania with natural gas supply for their operation. We also discussed about the possibility to conclude direct contracts with Gazprom for natural gas supply without intermediaries, harmonizing Russia’s position with Romania’s obligation arising from its statute of EU Member State regarding the regime applicable to cross-border pipelines, then the mutual encouragement of investments in innovating technologies and the participation of Russian companies in establishing clusters”. Konstantin Kosaciov also stated that companies with Russian shareholding from Romania were worried about the high electricity price: “Increases come from Romania’s obligation to liberalize the energy and gas markets and implement the European directive on reducing polluting emissions and increasing the share of renewable energy. These are obligations arising from the EU member statute. Mechel last year paid 30% more for energy and Alro – by 60%. We know that currently there is, at the level of the Government of Romania, a dialogue with the business environment on this issue to find mutually beneficial solutions”. Speaking about Lukoil, Mr. Kosaciov said that the Russian oil producer believes that OMV Petrom makes “unfair competition” on the fuel distribution market. “We hope that some preferences that Petrom benefits from will no longer be extended”, he added. Varujan Vosganian replied that he expected from the owners of Russian companies present in Romania a “greater availability to fulfill responsibilities” in terms of investments and jobs: “Dialogue with the Russian companies is permanent. We expect a greater availability to fulfill the responsibilities of the Russian companies’ ownership in terms of investments and jobs. As far as Alro is concerned, I specified that until 2012 it benefited from preferential prices for energy bought from Hidroelectrica. The ministry requested all companies requesting incentives to decrease costs with energy to prove what investment increases they would have if their claims were accepted”. The Ministry of Economy addressed to the Russian companies the proposal to invest in the construction of new hydropower stations on Cris and Aries rivers, the participation in the construction of Tarnita-Lapustesti hydropower plant, the modernization Iernut power plant, owned by Romgaz, cooperation on the construction of underground natural gas storage facilities and the exploration of new oil blocks. Konstantin Kosaciov said that the Russian side makes all due diligence to see how real the proposals received from Russian companies can be.[/cleeng_content]

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