Concluding statement of “European Union and Ukraine: Energy Security Problems” roundtable

18:39, 30 March 2007
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 “European Union and Ukraine: Energy Security Problems” roundtable participants stress the urgency of the problem that was discussed, as well as the constructive character of their discussion.

The participants state that there are complicated and pressing issues concerning organizing a stable communication of the EU countries’ growing needs in hydrocarbon energy carriers and in covering the existing deficit of electrical energy in some EU countries. In our opinion, these issues must be solved in the course of direct talks with all the interested sides: the countries consuming, producing, and transiting the respective resources. Only the policy aimed at taking into account the legal interests of all the energy market participants may be efficient and really common European.

The common European energy policy may and must base upon the principles, laid into the EU energy strategy project, which is presently the only transparent document, setting tasks and determining perspectives, but it must not be understood as solely the EU policy, which must be joined automatically by other energy market participants. The EU energy strategy will potentially be only a basis to seek and achieve a mutually beneficial compromise between consumers of energy resources and their producers and transiters. Thus, namely the mutual profitability must be the main demand to the common European energy policy. The attempts of a one-sided dictatorship of resources producers, as well as of their consumers and transiters, are absolutely unacceptable.

The roundtable participants also underscore the existence of the following dangerous trends:

First of all, there is a conflict of interests of companies, working in the sphere of gas extraction, gas supplies and gas distribution, trying to maximize their profit and interests of consumer countries, which need to keep on the competitiveness of their economics.

Secondly, another pressing issue is the permanent conflict of energy carrier transiters and producers, which has many times influenced consumers’ interests during the last years.

The third danger is the politicizing of energy problems in some countries, in order to receive internal political dividends by certain parties and populist politicians.

The forth negative trend is the attempts of Eastern European businessmen, whose capitals are often of dubious origin, and who are ruled by egoism and greed, to strengthen their key positions in the energy sphere, from which they may negatively influence the energy security of not only their countries, but also EU.

In this connection, considering the information, listed in the report of Mr.Kamianets, and on his insistent demand, the roundtable participants condemned the practice of forced seizures of Oblast energy-distributing companies, in particular, the cases that happened in 2005, with assistance of business-structures of Mr.Grigorishin.

The roundtable participants call on governments of the interested countries to begin intensified talks within the frames of a common European energy forum. The final aim of these talks must be to work out the mechanism of providing a mutual access of the interested countries and their companies to taking part in extracting, transiting, and commercial distributing the energy resources.

The roundtable participants believe that the efficient steps on this way would be to unify the national legislations and to enhance the international, including public, control over the activities of private and state corporations, operating in the energy sphere.

On the results of the discussion, the participants agreed about the necessity of broader involving the public and independent experts in working out recommendations to national governments concerning elaborating a general European energy policy. In particular, Mr. Oleksiy Tolkachov, on behalf of the Public Committee for National Security of Ukraine, proposed to set up a Coordinating Committee, which would use civil society mechanisms to press governments and legislative bodies of their countries for stimulating them to a more active and constructive participation in working out a common European energy policy.

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