2014/10/30

First Russian Humanitarian Aid Trucks Begin Customs Procedures on Russia-Ukraine Border


DONETSK (Rostov Region, Russia), October 31 (RIA Novosti) – The first of 100 trucks carrying Russian humanitarian aid for eastern Ukraine has begun customs procedures at the Donetsk-Izvarino border point, a RIA Novosti correspondent reported Friday.


The trucks are driving into the border area where they are being checked by Russian and Ukrainian border control and customs personnel. Observers from the Organizations for Security and Cooperation in Europe are also present.



Barroso Hopes Gas Deal Helps to Improve Russian-Ukrainian Relations


BRUSSELS, October 31 (RIA Novosti) - The European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso, following trilateral gas talks in Brussels, said he hopes that the gas agreement will help to improve the Russian-Ukrainian relations.


"I have hopes that this agreement will have the opportunity to improve relations between Ukraine and Russia," Barroso said after the trilateral talks.


Barroso also stated that all sides agreed to follow the terms of the contract, as no one will benefit from the new disruptions of gas deliveries.


Russia and Ukraine on Thursday held the final round of gas talks, mediated by the European Commission, to find an interim solution to the standoff over Ukraine's unpaid gas bills and the price Kiev will pay for Russian gas supplies during the upcoming winter.


Following the talks, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union signed a so-called agreement on gas deliveries, while Gazprom and Naftogaz signed an addendum to the contract, securing conditions for gas deliveries up until March 2015.



Novak Hopes Gazprom, Naftogaz Can Agree on Gas Deliveries to Ukraine From April 2015


BRUSSELS, October 31 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, following trilateral gas talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union said that he hopes Gazprom and Naftogaz will be able to agree on a continuation of Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine after the so-called “winter packageexpires.


“Of course our companies, Gazprom and Naftogaz, will return to a dialogue. I think that today’s agreement will allow them to continue the dialogue on a constant basis, and new concrete steps will be prepared to secure deliveries from April,” Novak told journalists after the trilateral talks.


On Thursday, Ukraine, Russia and the EU have signed a “winter package” agreement, which embodies resumption of Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine and uninterrupted transit of gas to the EU during the winter months.


In particular, Ukraine agreed to pay $1.451 billion in Russian gas debt immediately, prepay for at least 4 billion cubic meters of gas, and to pay a total of $3.1 billion to cover part of its debt to Russian energy giant Gazprom by the end of the year. At the same time, Russia agreed to give Ukraine a $100 per 1,000 cubic meters discount until March 2015 in a form of export duty reduction.


However, the "winter package" will only be valid up until March 31, 2015.



Russia to Sell Gas to Ukraine at $378 Per 1,000 Cubic Meters in November-December


Updated 04:53 a.m. Moscow time.


BRUSSELS, October 31 (RIA Novosti) - Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller has confirmed that Ukraine will pay $378 per 1,000 cubic meters of Russian gas in November-December 2014, accounting for the agreed $100 discount and in line with contractual price formula, which reflects global oil prices.


"The price is calculated on the basis of contractual price formula minus $100 discount, agreed by the Russian government," Miller told reporters, following trilateral gas talks in Brussels on Thursday.


"The current price for the Q4 is $378.22 per 1,000 cubic meters," Miller said.


The Gazprom CEO added that the price for the first quarter of 2015 will be largely determined by global oil price trends in the next few months.


Miller added that Naftogaz agreed to pay for the delivery of 4 billion cubic meters of Russian gas to Ukraine until the end of the year.


“In bilateral agreement between Gazprom and Naftogaz signed in Brussels, the volumes that Ukraine plans to pay for are outlined and fixed. This is 2 billion cubic meters of gas in November and 2 billion cubic meters of gas in December,” Miller stated.


Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that Ukraine confirmed its ability to pay for 4 billion cubic meters of gas. Novak stated that Ukraine has not presented any evidence to prove the statement, however said that Russia trusts its partners’ words.


On Thursday evening, Ukraine, Russia and the EU have coordinated all the details of the interim agreement on Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine through March 2015, and have signed an agreement, outlining conditions for gas deliveries during the winter months.



EC to Outline Gas Payment Guarantees in Letter to Kiev: Miller


Updated 04:31 a.m. Moscow time.


BRUSSELS, October 31 (RIA Novosti) - The European Commission has agreed to stipulate financial guarantees of payments for Russian gas supplies to Ukraine through March 2015 in an official letter to Kiev, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said.


A separate bilateral protocol on gas payment guarantees between the EC and Ukraine was expected to be signed on Thursday as the Russian side considered it a key precondition for implementation of the so-called "winter package" trilateral gas deal.


The protocol, however, was not signed, and EC Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told reporters, following trilateral gas talks in Brussels on Thursday, that the European Union had not provided binding guarantees to Russia.


Following the talks in Brussels, Oettinger said that the EU has not agreed to pay for future gas deliveries to Ukraine and has not guaranteed to pay for the majority of the country's open bills.


"It will all be detailed in a letter from the European Commission to Ukraine. The letter will mention certain financial guarantees, certain agreements between the EC and Ukraine," Miller told reporters in a separate press point.


Miller stressed that Kiev's ability to pay its gas bills has been and will be a concern for Gazprom, as Ukraine has over $5 billion in accumulated gas debt and will have to pre-pay for future deliveries.


“I must say that the major concern during the past two months was Ukraine’s ability to pay. There were no other questions,” Miller said.


On Thursday, Ukraine, Russia and the EU have signed an agreement, outlining conditions for Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine during the winter months. In particular, Kiev agreed to pay $3.1 billion of its debt to Gazprom until the end of 2014 in exchange for resumption of Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine. Kiev also agreed to purchase 4 billion cubic meters of gas on prepayment conditions with $100 per 1,000 cubic meters discount set until March 2015.



Fourteen Days in Taiga of Kola Peninsula




People of this posting had to take two consequent plane flights, then spend four hours in the car to get there. Why anyone would do this? Let’s see the photos and get the answer. Like the first photo of caviar that probably was in a fish just a few minutes before this photo was made.









This posting is huge, over hundred photos, but let’s put it just on three pages for a pure enjoyment.



This is bukhanka Russian SUV van that is 40 or fifty years old model and still running and being manufactured.




After arriving they started assembling a catamaran.







All is ready lets sail.





Freshly made.



Brusnika or cowberry.















Lotsa blueberry on the shores.










A sushi. Out of the fresh caviar and something else.




They call this drink “HEALTH”. It is a boiled cowberry juice, sugar and spirits (not even vodka).



Look at those chopsticks.



Sometimes they had to carry the catamaran because of shallow waters.




Russian Govt. to Approve Gas Discount for Ukraine in Next Few Days: Novak


Updated 04:12 a.m. Moscow time.


BRUSSELS, October 31 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian government will approve a $100 per 1,000 cubic meters gas discount for gas supplies to Ukraine in the next few days, but deliveries in January-March will be guaranteed only if Kiev pays off $3.1 billion of accumulated debt by the end of 2014, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.


Under the trilateral agreement between Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission signed on Thursday, Kiev has to pay off $1.451 billion in Russian gas debt immediately and $1.65 billion by the end of 2014 to guarantee winter supplies with discounted price through March next year.


"If Kiev fails to pay off $1.65 billion, we will stop the supplies in January. It is stipulated in the agreement," Novak said.


"There are no risks for the Russian side and for Gazprom. If the debt is paid off – then there will be deliveries," Novak concluded.


He also emphasized that the deliveries will be made on prepayment conditions, and the price for supplies after March could revert to contractual $485 per 1,000 cubic meters.


On Thursday evening, Ukraine, Russia and the EU have coordinated all the details of the interim agreement on Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine through March 2015, and have signed an agreement outlining conditions for gas deliveries during the winter months.



Russia Unaware of Origin of Kiev’s Price Estimates for Summer Gas Deliveries: Novak


BRUSSELS, October 31 (RIA Novosti) - Russia is not aware of the origin of Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk’s statements about prices for Russian gas deliveries during summer, as the issue has not been discussed yet, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.


“With regard to the prices, I want to say that we have not discussed the prices for gas deliveries during summer period today, we have only discussed period from November until March. Russian side starts with the fact that the contact exists, active since 2009 until 2019, where the pricing mechanism is outlined,” Novak said, following trilateral gas talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union in Brussels.


“This is why numbers, which have been stated by Ukrainian Prime Minister today… we do not completely understand where they came from, so we think that these are some sort of prognostic numbers, which Ukraine may think of as a price,” Novak said.