If Ukraine’s gas crisis leads to the successful negotiation of a contract with Russian energy giant Gazprom, Ukraine will be at the mercy of Moscow, and the chance of reconciliation over Crimea and the Donbass would be diminished.
That’s according to Ukrainian MP Lyudmila Buymister, who has come out against the idea of signing a deal with Russia, despite the situation that the Federation of Employers of Ukraine described as “catastrophic.”
Writing on Facebook, Buymister explained that she is opposed to the country’s direction of travel, which appears to be moving toward a direct contract with Gazprom. She also revealed that this opinion caused her to be kicked out of the ruling Servant of the People party, headed by President Volodymyr Zelensky.
“My patience broke down when I started to talk clearly about how we are being brought to our knees before Moscow,” she wrote. “Are we playing along with Moscow? Or is the inner circle too afraid that I would be able to convince the President that he’s not doing everything correctly?”
The MP has repeatedly expressed her view that any gas deal with Russia would cause the country to be at the mercy of the Kremlin, which would mean any agreement to resolve the situation in Crimea or the conflict in the Donbass would be impossible. It would also make integration in the EU more complicated, she believes.
Kiev has officially refused to buy Russian gas since 2015, with Ukrainian officials insisting that they buy fuel from Europe by reverse-flow.
Earlier this month, the former head of Ukraine’s Naftogaz, the state-owned oil and gas company, criticized the leadership for what he called a “big mistake.”
“In May and June of this year, we didn’t purchase gas for the Ukrainian underground gas storage, when it cost a lot less than the frenzied levels that exist now,” Andrey Kobolev said.
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