Because the Ukraine is in arrears with regard to payments for natural gas to Gazprom (Russia), Russia instituted a "prepayment" plan in which the Ukraine needs to pay for their natural gas before they receive it.
Natural gas normally flows west from Russia through the Ukraine to Europe. Europe receives 30% of its natural gas from Russia. Obviously, as the natural gas passes through the Ukraine, that country receives its allotment. However, plans for Europe to help the Ukraine pay for their natural gas failed, and the Ukraine remains in arrears. If unable to pre-pay, the Ukraine will not get natural gas from Russia.
Apparently the EU "is reversing" the flow of natural gas from Europe back to the Ukraine.
Which brings us up to today.
The Ukraine is reporting that natural gas flows from Europe have decreased. Reuters is reporting:
Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said on Wednesday reverse gas flows from the European Union to Ukraine had fallen because of threats by Russian gas producer Gazprom.
Ukraine first saw the decrease two weeks ago.
He said reverse supplies stood at 7 million cubic metres daily on Wednesday versus a possible 18 million.Related stories:
- RT, July 1, 2014 -- Putin argues there is "no reverse natural gas flow"; rather, "Ukraine has concocted a plan with its western partners by paying for gas European customers do not receive."
- Reuters, also today (July 23, 2014, with an added data point): On April 28 Bratislava and Ukraine signed a deal allowing the EU to send a limited amount of gas to Ukraine. Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said combined reverse flows from Slovakia, Hungary and Poland could reach up to around 16-17 bcm annually.
I did not know this, or if I did, I forgot: Tim Cook worked for IBM for 12 years before coming to Apple. The Apple-IBM partnership may just be the "sleeper" story of the year.
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