An article that tells us much about the 'spontaneous' protest........
And the manipulated protestors
As Western efforts to bring Ukraine into the European fold are stalling, the country's pivot toward Russia looks to be undermining its own multiyear efforts to secure European nuclear-fuel and natural-gas supplies.
"Looks" to be undermining? What with that reduced gas price deal from Russia? How exactly would the Ukraine be undermining it's own efforts to secure nuclear fuel and natural gas? I will highlight the interesting bits.
Ukraine needs to update it's 100 million dollar five year supply contract with Westinghouse owned by Japan's Toshiba Corp?Ukraine, which uses Swedish-made nuclear fuel in three of its 15 nuclear reactors, in short order needs to update its roughly $100 million, five-year fuel-supply contract with a unit of Westinghouse Electric Co., owned by Japan's Toshiba Corp., the company said.
Wait a minute! Westinghouse needs the deal, not the Ukraine.Failure to extend the supply deal between the former Soviet state and the West would force Westinghouse to cease the manufacture of the fuel entirely, and Central and Eastern European countries using Russian-designed VVER reactors would definitively lose access to a fuel-supply alternative to Russia, a senior company official told The Wall Street Journal on the condition of anonymity.
Failure to extend the supply deal between the former Soviet state and the West would force Westinghouse to cease the manufacture of the fuel entirelyAnd the business could easily go to Russia. Westinghouse being the 'alternative' to Russian supplies
Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych last month unexpectedly refused to sign a landmark association agreement with the European Union that would have removed significant trade barriers. Then earlier this week, he struck a deal with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow that will temporarily slash the price Ukraine pays for natural gas by one third and will give Ukraine $15 billion in midterm financing, with Russia committing to buy Ukrainian bonds.
Following the deal, Mr. Yanukovych said the two countries need to develop a "strategic" relationship.
In subsequent days, Ukrainian officials have gone silent on future nuclear-fuel supplies and on an imminent deal with the EU for natural-gas supplies from the West.Officials from Ukraine's government, energy ministry and nuclear power operator didn't respond to requests for comment.
Peter Attard Montalto, an analyst with Nomura in London, said there is more to this week's dealings than communicated officially, and it is likely Presidents Putin and Yanukovych made "very strong verbal or other agreements in the background about NATO, the customs union and other factors as well."
"People see this as a turning away from the West," Mr. Montalto said. "As usual when dealing with Russia, we should expect the unexpected."
Monopolozation and control of business to crush out competition.While Ukraine's nuclear contract with Westinghouse lasts through 2015, the lead-time in processing the material is significant, and the Pennsylvania-based company said it needs to update its contract with Kiev quickly to maintain its Swedish production base. The company official said the two sides don't need to sign a deal in a matter of days, but it must be done "soon."
Anton Usov, senior adviser for the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Kiev, said the nuclear fuel situation is "highly politicized" and isn't a topic for public comment.The government in Ukraine—embattled amid daily protests, with hundreds of thousands of people calling for its resignation and for fresh elections—intends to deepen cooperation with TVEL, Russia's nuclear fuel company, with the aim of creating a closed nuclear cycle in Ukraine based on Russian technologies, said Dmytro Naumenko, a senior research fellow at the Center for Economic Studies at the Institute for Economic Research and Policy Consulting in Kiev
The two parties are building just such a plant, and its equipment, being made in Russia, is about 90% finished, Mr. Naumenko added.
"I am a bit skeptical about the contract prolongation" with Westinghouse, he said.
Ukraine is the West's last stand for nuclear fuel deliveries in the former Soviet bloc, after Westinghouse's fuel supplies for Czech reactors were substituted with Russian fuel in 2010.The European Commission had no comment on the situation, saying it doesn't involve itself in nuclear deals, which are sovereign, national issues, said Marlene Holzner, spokeswoman for European Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger.
At the same time, the Slovak natural-gas pipeline operator EUstream, which last month was due to sign a memorandum of understanding with Ukraine's pipeline operator Ukrtransgaz on reversing gas flows to provide Ukraine an alternative gas supply, says it is now impossible to predict if and when a deal will be signed.
The EU has spent months brokering the Slovak pipeline accord, and Brussels had insisted for the past few weeks that the Ukrainian gas distributor would sign the deal imminently. However, officials from Ukrtransgaz failed to attend a signing ceremony in Bratislava a couple of weeks ago, according to several European officials, and the firm still hasn't signed the deal.
Mrs. Holzner said Ukrtransgaz could sign the deal "sometime after Christmas" and added that the EU hadn't been told the Ukrainian company planned to walk away from the deal. However one senior EU official said Wednesday that while it was "premature" to pronounce the deal dead, the agreement was now in serious doubt.Representatives of Ukrtransgaz didn't respond to requests for comment.Most countries on the 28-nation bloc's eastern flank already get the bulk of their natural gas and crude oil from Russia, all the region's nuclear reactors were originally built according to Russian designs, and barring a Ukraine fuel deal, all nuclear fuel in future would only come from Russian entities.Also in play is whether Ukraine will back out of its commitments to the EU's Energy Community, which could lead to a halt in the country's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in turn for its ability to export electricity to Hungary.
Don't miss the earlier post