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Russian pundit accuses Ukraine of creating artificial crisis over gas

Moscow, 1 January: Kiev is forcing on Moscow a gas war in order to create a crisis not only in bilateral relations but also in relations between Russia and the European Union, according to the president of the Foundation for Effective Politics, Gleb Pavlovskiy.

"The idea of the game started by Kiev is to create an artificial crisis and blame it on Russia as a force that is creating tensions not only in bilateral relations but which also threatens European security," Pavlovskiy told Interfax on Thursday (1 January).

He is convinced that the so-called "gas war" "is being imposed by Ukraine, which is trying to turn ordinary commercial obligations into a political crisis and place the responsibility for it on Russia".

In the view of Pavlovskiy, "Ukraine has been preparing for this situation by pumping gas into its storage facilities well in advance".

"The gas stock of Ukraine, when taking into account downturn in the industry in the eastern part of the country, will fully cover the fuel needs of the population and when we will be told that by halting the supply of gas, Russia is strangling Ukraine by cold and hunger, this would be a bare-faced lie," Pavlovskiy stressed.

He described the behaviour of Ukraine in settling the gas problem with Russia as non-European.

"Ukraine intends to create a crisis by blackmailing Russia," the political analyst noted.

He also pointed out that the current problem in the sphere of gas supplies to Europe yet again made the issue of their diversification a topical one.

"The delay with the construction of the Nord Stream pipeline, as well as the southern route, is making Russia a hostage for Ukrainian politics, which has brought its country to the edge of default," Pavlovskiy said.