In Ukrainian-Russian relations the quantity does not transform into quality. The proof of that is, apparently, the recent talks between Viktor Yanukovych and Vladimir Putin that lasted for hours. The only thing that press services reported to public is the agenda – the list of issues discussed during the meeting. On March 4 spokesman of the Russian President Dmitry Peskov informed that the leaders of the two countries “discussed in detail the issues of cooperation in all fields of economy, including the gas industry” during their meeting in the “Rus” residence (village of Zavidovo, Tver region). According to Peskov, they also discussed the issues and the plans of Ukraine regarding its cooperation with the Customs Union. Peskov did not exclude the chance that the dialogue on the top level regarding these issues might be continued. He said that consultations will continue on all levels.
According to the official information, during the meeting Yanukovych and Putin discussed cooperation of the two countries in the gas sector, the issue of constructing the third and the fourth units of Khmelnytsky NPP, tried to step up joint production of AN aircrafts and to solve the issues of regional cooperation. Besides, one of the central topics of discussion was Ukraine’s cooperation with the Customs Union.
As UNIAN reported earlier “initially the program of the visit assumed that the negotiations in the tete-a-tete format would last for about two hours and would end at 6 p.m. local time. However, the presidents of the two countries worked for a much longer period of time. Their meeting ended at about 2 a.m.” After the meeting, Yanukovych flew to the airport on a helicopter and then at about 3 a.m. flew to Kyiv.
People involved in the preparation of the meeting at the Zavidovo residence say that the Ukrainian delegation was allocated a separate house, decorated with a flag of Ukraine. It was all set in case Yanukovych would have to spend a night in Zavidovo.
The visit of the President of Ukraine to Russia was planned back in December 2012 but at the last moment it was delayed because of uncoordinated technical details related to the organization of energy cooperation of Ukraine and Russia. The parties agreed that they needed further consultations with the experts. It turns out that the work was idle and was not aimed at reaching any results.
Not by chance the leader of UDAR fraction Vitalii Klitschko wants the President of Ukraine Viktor Yanukovych to explain the results of his visit to Moscow for Ukraine and the process of its European integration. “Why did the president fly to Moscow and what might be the consequences of this meeting for Ukraine?” Klitschko rhetorically asked journalists at a press conference on March 5. “Is there a chance that these negotiations might cancel the results of the Ukraine-EU Summit and the European aspirations of Ukraine?” Klitschko noted that Ukraine clearly declared the direction of its development and its desire to become a part of the European Union.
Not long before the night meeting of the two presidents, a famous gas expert who lives in the United States Mikhail Korchemkin noticed a strange fact. Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov made a statement that the gas contracts between Russian and Ukraine should be reconsidered. The deadline on this matter, according to Azarov, is the end of the year. Ukrainian Prime Minister cannot yet be called a Euro-optimist, but he sure proved himself to be a Moscow-optimist. “We believe that this requirement [of the IMF on the increase of gas prices for the population. – Author] is wrong from the economic point of view, and unacceptable from the social point of view, and we will prove it. Sooner or later we will agree with Russia on new gas prices. There are no other options,” said Azarov in one of TV programs.
Meanwhile, Russia signed declaration with China that is similar in terms. These two countries plan to sign an agreement on the supply of Russian gas to China by the end of the year, although its price has not been agreed yet. In his LiveJournal Korchemkin noted that these two statements are similar in a way. However, one of the commentators of his post fairly points out that the first of these statements presents the view of only one of the parties involved in the matter. Another user wrote as if asking Azarov: “Interesting, does he know anything about Moscow’s intentions?” But the worst is that perhaps the extreme pessimist is the closest to the truth in saying: “The more old man Azarov talks about the future success of the negotiations, the clearer it becomes that there are no chances for that and that again we would have to give up everything Russia would demand.”
This is what the lack of information may result in.