01 September 2011 - With the winter season approaching, Ukraine and Russia have reignited old tensions about gas pricing, in a row reminiscent of the trade dispute which ended up leaving parts of Europe cold in 2006 and 2009.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said yesterday (31 August) that he was perplexed by Ukraine's attempt to secure a cut in gas prices, accusing the former Soviet republic of trying to sponge from Moscow.
Medvedev, speaking in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, said Ukraine wanted discount gas prices but was offering Russia nothing in return.
"It is very sad, it is sponging," Interfax reported Medvedev as saying.
Alexei Miller, the head of Russia's gas export monopoly Gazprom, said on the same day that Ukraine has to pay for at least 33 billion cubic metres of gas a year under the current contract. Reportedly, Ukraine has filed a request to reduce purchases to 27 bcm.
"Such are the take-or-pay conditions of the current contract. The conditions will be applied this year and during all the period of the contract," Alexei Miller said.
On Tuesday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said his country, a top buyer of Russian gas, should reduce imports by two thirds in the coming years.
Tensions between the two countries are rising as Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister of Ukraine, prepares to face trial in her country for having signed a gas treaty with Russia in 2009 which Kyiv now considers detrimental to its interests.
Her trial has triggered street demonstrations by her supporters, and has attracted criticism from US and EU officials.
For the complete article, please see EurActiv.
The mission of the Munich Security Conference is to “address the world’s most pressing security concerns”. These days, that means climate security: climate change is the ultimate threat multiplier, and anyone discussing food security, political instability, migration, or competition over resources should be aware of the climate change pressures that are so often at the root of security problems.
The European Green Deal has made the environment and climate change the focus of EU action. Indeed, climate change impacts are already increasing the pressure on states and societies; however, it is not yet clear how the EU can engage on climate security and environmental peacemaking. In this light, and in the run-up to the German EU Council Presidency, adelphi and its partners are organising a roundtable series on “Climate, environment, peace: Priorities for EU external action in the decade ahead”.
In January 2020, the German Federal Foreign Office launched Green Central Asia, a regional initiative on climate and security in Central Asia and Afghanistan. The aim of the initiative is to support a dialogue in the region on climate change and associated risks in order to foster regional integration between the six countries involved.
Climate change will shift key coordinates of foreign policy in the coming years and decades. Even now, climate policy is more than just environment policy; it has long since arrived at the centre of foreign policy. The German Foreign Office recently released a report on climate diplomacy recognizing the biggest challenges to security posed by climate change and highlighting fields of action for strengthening international climate diplomacy.