Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Marta's sleepless for the second day in a row: she's not really crying, not much, especially compared with Jan. 5, but she's not sleeping either... So I sit and wait...

The parliament vs government situation seems absurd - or do I just need to get some sleep in order to understand it? Here's what we have:

The MPs voted to sack the premier and his cabinet, but they violated the procedure, so their vote might be annulled.

They do have the power to fire the government, but it won't be until after March 2006 election that they acquire the power to form a new government.

Yulia Tymoshenko's Bloc voted in unison with Yanukovych's Regions of Ukraine, the Communists, SDPU(o), United Ukraine and Lytvyn's bloc, but this doesn't mean Ukraine's got a truly united opposition.

Various experts think that the so-called opposition has just scored some points, while the sort of former premier Yekhanurov said that the voters loved losers and that's why Yushchenko's Our Ukraine would benefit.

They don't want to pay $95, but they weren't too proactive when Russia almost imposed a $230 price on us.

Stanislav Belkovsky writes in Ukrainska Pravda (in Russian) that Vladimir Putin is one of those mysterious individuals represented by Raiffeisen in Rosukrenergo; he also writes that Tymoshenko would have made a deal with Itera, a company registered in Delaware, to supply gas to Ukraine for $115-120.

President Yushchenko announced that nothing extraordinary had happened, so he wouldn't interrupt his visit to Kazakhstan, where he's meeting with heads of states such as Hamid Karzai and will attend president Nazarbaev's inauguration later today.

But he is going to ask the Constitutional Court to clarify whether today's vote was constitutional - he's sure it wasn't.

The Constitutional Court's judges haven't been sworn in yet, however: they await the parliament's approval.

Oh, and is it really true that Ukraine is the seventh largest consumer of natural gas in the world? Are we really using this gas for industrial needs - or are we re-selling huge amounts of it?


  1. From what I have been told by my wife , we are selling huge amounts to some countries that have a hard time buying .
    What is also driving me nuts is we are in the process of buying another house in Ukraine and moving back in the near future. Thankfull it is the Western part of Ukraine.I will be a hillbilly again. Gotta love it.

  2. Hey,

    Is it true that if your house burns down in Russia/Ukraine that you lose the rights to the land? Do fires happen often and strategically as a result?


  3. Greetings Neeka,

    At this time last year in Pidhajtsi, I was exasperated by the total wastefulness as per natural gas consumption in a small west Ukrainian town. Most homes in Pidhajtsi got gas lines only 7 years ago, and in order to heat the rooms of their houses that are out of reach of the pichka's (tile covered heating stove)heat, people have been hooking up ovens to the gas mains. They either light all the burners and run them full blast, or they turn on the oven and open the door. When temps dip down to negative 15-20 degrees (and one day it was -24), that's a hell of a lot of gas being burned.

    These rooms did not need to be heated, by the way. They hadn't been 7 years ago, and there were other rooms with heating stoves. It was just nice to have them heated, a convenience.

    Thus I was not at all surprised when I saw on TV that Ukraine was ranked as the 5th highest consumer per capita of natural gas in the world. I have been meaning to write about this on my blog, but I could not find any info on the internet, any rankings by country of gas consumption per capita. Where did you find your figure that Ukraine is 7th?

    Of course, the important question here is whether individual household wastefulness alone makes the figures for Ukrainian consumption so high? Probably not alone, but it symptomatic of the very widespread wastefulness of Ukraine's infrastructure and industry. In individual terms, Ukrainians could very easily be more conservative in their consumption, and a higher gas price certainly is a good mechanism. This is the best argument for raising the gas prices, which personally I am not against. But I am very much so against the way that Russia is doing it, and against the way that the YuGov has surrendered any influence in Central Asia and independence in negotiations for Central Asian gas.

    Good luck getting some sleep! My own little one is waking up an average of 6 or so times a night, which is a total change from her first 6 months, during which she slept, in an unusual way for a babe, through the night while waking only once. You are doing a great job keeping up with your writing!