Group 38@Sophia EU hopeful of gas deal between Ukraine and Russia


Guenther Oettinger gave a news conference after the talks


The EU’s energy commissioner is hopeful of a deal between Ukraine and Russia to end their dispute over gas deliveries after three-way talks in Berlin.

Guenther Oettinger outlined a plan which would see Russia supply Ukraine over the winter and into the spring.

Ukraine would pay Russia $2bn (£1.2bn) of its gas debt by the end of October and another $1.1bn by the year’s end.

The talks will continue next week. Russia halted supplies in June over Ukraine’s unpaid debts.

Relations had soured after the overthrow of Ukraine’s pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych, in February and Russia’s subsequent support for separatists in Crimea and other Ukrainian regions.

‘Price at issue’

Friday’s talks came after Hungary cut its gas deliveries to Ukraine, arguing that it needed to stock up its reserves.

Hungary was criticised by the European Commission but argued that it could not risk being cut off by Russia before winter set in.

Europe's pipeline network

Mr Oettinger said the amount of gas delivered from Gazprom to Ukraine’s Naftogaz state gas firm was “undisputed” but the price was still “at issue”.

Under the EU plan, in return for the debt repayment, Gazprom would supply at least 5bn cubic metres of gas to Ukraine at $385 per 1,000 cubic metre, to be paid in advance.

“Now the price is being debated in court and no party will have an interest in damaging its legal position in front of the court,” the EU energy commissioner said.

Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller (C) and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak (L) leave the talks in Berlin, 26 SeptemberGazprom CEO Alexei Miller (C) and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak (L) leaving the talks in Berlin
Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan in Berlin, 26 SeptemberUkrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan was at the talks

The parties at the talks on Friday still needed to consult with their governments, he added.

He said he expected the issue to be clarified early next week, after which he, ministers and CEOs would meet at the end of the week, again in the German capital.

Russia cut off all gas supplies to Ukraine after Kiev failed to settle its debt with Gazprom. Gazprom had sought $1.95bn out of a total claim of $4.5bn.

The Russian company said Ukraine had to pay upfront for its future supplies.

Hungarian cut

Russia says EU states are contractually forbidden from re-exporting gas to Ukraine but Brussels insists that such “reverse flows” are legal.

When Ukraine stopped receiving direct gas supplies from Russia in June, Russian exports to the rest of Europe were not affected, BBC World Service business correspondent Theo Leggett writes.

As a result Kiev has been able to obtain some supplies indirectly from Hungary, Poland and Slovakia, through pipelines normally used to send gas the other way.

Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, said on Friday: “Hungary cannot get into a situation in which, due to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, it cannot access its required supply of energy,”

He added that Gazprom had agreed to supply his country with extra gas in order to fill its storage facilities ahead of the winter.

Mr Orban has been critical of EU sanctions on Russia and has maintained a closer relationship with Moscow than his western European neighbors.

Group 40. Sophia Antipolis. Exxon winds down Russian Arctic drilling campaign

ExxonMobil, the US oil company, is winding down its drilling campaign in the Russian Arctic, making it the biggest corporate casualty of sanctions announced by the US and EU this month, by putting its $700m project on indefinite hold.

The company said on Friday that the US Treasury had granted it a short term licence “to enable the safe and responsible winding down of operations”, but said there would be no further extensions.

It added that it would be bringing to an end all activities associated with the project, a joint venture with Russia’s Rosneft, “as safely and expeditiously as possible”.

Exxon’s announcement shows that the new round of sanctions has changed the legal basis for US and European companies seeking to work in Russia’s frontier oil areas such as the Arctic and shale formations, which are specifically targeted in the measures.

The previous round of sanctions, announced in July, did not prevent Exxon and Rosneft from starting to drill a well in Russia’s Arctic Kara Sea last month, part of a planned $700m exploration programme.

Those sanctions restricted only the export from the US of technology for Arctic and shale oil exploration. The new measures broadened that to include bans on US companies providing services or technology, with a deadline of September 26.

The sanctions, imposed as a result of what the US called “continued Russian efforts to destabilise eastern Ukraine”, raise a question mark over the future of Exxon’s strategic alliance with Rosneft, the state-controlled oil group.

Their joint ventures, valued at $3.6bn, had been seen as one of Exxon’s most promising prospects for future growth.

In a series of agreements reached during 2011-13, concluded after a similar planned arrangement between BP and Rosneft fell through, Exxon agreed to work with the Russian company in the Arctic and in the Bazhenov shale of western Siberia. It also gave Rosneft minority stakes in some assets in the Gulf of Mexico, and said the two companies would work together in US shale.

Group 2 – CFM@Paris : Is Russia a real actor of globalization ?


I – Russia is a globalized country through its trade of natural ressources

1. Trade importance of Russia thanks to oil and gas
2. How Russia use oil and gas as a weapon / power

II – Is Russia’s power only coming from there trade of ressources ?

  1. Society and economic evolution since the fall of the Soviet Union (corruption, oligarchy, FDI, Public firms…)
2. Political willingness and behaviour
3. Income gap / Distribution of wealth

III – Future of Russia in globalization

  1. Political consensus
2. Climate changes (agriculture)
3. Northern Maritime road


6@Sophia:New sanctions against Russia to take effect on Friday.

BRUSSELS/LONDON, Sept 11 (Reuters) – European Union governments agreed on Thursday that new economic sanctions on Russia will take effect on Friday but held out the prospect of cancelling some or all of them next month if they believe a peace plan is working.

EU ambassadors agreed in principle to the new sanctions last Friday but implementation was held up by a dispute over whether they should take effect now or whether the EU should give more time for a ceasefire in Ukraine to take hold.

The ambassadors agreed at a meeting in Brussels that the new sanctions should take effect on Friday, when they will be published in the EU’s Official Journal.

“The ambassadors reserve the right to revise their decision at any time in response to events, on the basis of the opinions of relevant institutions,” one EU diplomat said.

European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said EU officials would conduct a review before the end of September of how a peace plan was working in Ukraine and, if Russia was complying, some or all sanctions could be lifted.

“If the situation on the ground so warrants,” he said, officials may submit to EU leaders “proposals to amend, suspend or repeal the set of sanctions in force, in all or in part”.

That enticement to Moscow to cooperate, while immediately imposing new measures, reflects impatience on the part of some leaders not to pull punches after less than a week of a truce but also concern among others, especially those most heavily dependent on Russian trade, not to provoke Moscow’s retaliation.

The breakthrough followed a phone call on Thursday involving Van Rompuy, British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, Cameron’s spokesman told reporters in London.

“(They spoke) to discuss the subject of sanctions against Russia in the context of Ukraine and agreement to proceed with the implementation of the sanction package that was agreed earlier in the week,” he said.

“If Russia genuinely reverses course then of course the European Union and others will return to the subject but there unfortunately has been very little evidence so far and that is why you have the European Union going ahead.”


Moscow would take comparable measures in response to new EU sanctions, Russian news agencies quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying.

That response could include caps on used car imports and other consumer goods, Kremlin economic aide Andrei Belousov was quoted by state-run RIA news agency as saying. But he added: “I hope common sense will prevail and we will not have to introduce those measures.”

The Ukraine conflict has provoked the worst crisis in East-West relations since the Cold War and deepened fears over possible disruption to Russian gas supplies to Europe.

Poland’s state-controlled gas importer PGNiG said on Thursday it had received 45 percent less natural gas than it requested from Russia’s Gazprom on Wednesday. A Gazprom spokesman said Russian gas flows to Poland were unchanged from the previous week.

A spokeswoman for the European Commission said the EU was looking into the details and the possible cause of disruption. She said Ukrainian, Russian and EU officials would meet in Berlin on Sept. 20 to discuss gas supplies.

Ukraine imports around half of its gas needs from Russia, and the EU meets a third of its demand through imports from Russia, with 40 percent of that gas flowing through Ukraine.

The new EU sanctions are expected to put Russia’s top oil producers and pipeline operators Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft on a list of Russian state-owned firms that will not be allowed to raise capital or borrow on European markets, an EU diplomat said.

EU sanctions, however, do not include the gas sector and in particular state-owned Gazprom, the world’s biggest gas producer and the biggest gas supplier to Europe.

Battle-tank maker Uralvagonzavod, aerospace company Oboronprom and state-controlled United Aircraft Corporation (UAC) are also expected to face sanctions, according to a draft obtained by Reuters.

The EU sanctions would prohibit the companies from raising capital in Europe via “financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 30 days”, the draft document said.

A further 24 people will be added to a list of those barred from entry to the bloc and whose assets in the EU are frozen.

While Germany had been pushing to have the new sanctions implemented, several other EU countries had wanted to hold off because a ceasefire in Ukraine had been holding for some days.

EU diplomats said countries with close ties to Russia such as Italy, Austria and Finland are reluctant to implement the new sanctions.

Merkel said sanctions could always be suspended later if there was progress towards a peace plan for Ukraine.

Ukraine’s president said on Wednesday Russia had removed the bulk of its forces from his country, raising hopes for a peace drive now underway after five months of conflict in which more than 3,000 people have been killed.

However, a NATO military officer said there were still around 1,000 Russian troops inside Ukraine and 20,000 near the border.

The rouble hit a record low against the dollar on news of the new sanctions.