Poland gets Russian gas price reduction

Updated 06 November 2012
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Poland gets Russian gas price reduction

WARSAW: Poland has obtained a significant price reduction on the gas it imports from Russia, ending a legal dispute that had escalated to international arbitration, officials said yesterday.
The head of Poland's PGNiG gas an oil giant, Grazyna Piotrowska-Oliwa, said her company and Russian supplier Gazprom signed a deal in Warsaw on Monday that "changed the pricing formula" of their 2010 agreement by linking the cost of the gas to market prices.
That cuts the price of about $ 550 per 1,000 cubic meters by over 15 percent, effective immediately, said Treasury Minister Mikolaj Budzanowski. That saves the government some $1 billion annually and brings Poland's prices close to those paid by Germany, he added.
Poland imports almost 70 percent of its gas and 90 percent of its crude oil from Russia. The country, which has since the Cold War been trying to distance itself from Russia, is uncomfortable with that level of dependence, particularly since Moscow has in the past used its control of gas supplies as a bargaining chip in international political issues.
As a result, Poland has been searching for alternative forms of energy — it is exploring for shale gas and pursuing plans for nuclear energy. However, it will not be clear for another two or three years whether shale gas is economically viable. A nuclear power plant, meanwhile, would not be operational before 2024.
As a result of yesterday's deal, Piotrowska-Oliwa said gas prices for Polish consumers, including households, will be reduced as of Jan. 1, but declined to say by how much.
She added that Poland is withdrawing a complaint against Gazprom it had lodged with the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal. Gazprom said in Moscow it was also withdrawing its part of the case from the tribunal.
Gazprom's deputy head, Alexander Medvedev, who signed the agreement, said that the two sides have "found a mutually acceptable mechanism of correcting prices for Russian gas that would give us flexibility in reacting to the recent changes in the gas markets in Poland and Europe."


Pompeo says China is engaging in ‘predatory economics 101’

Would China have allowed America to do to it what China has done to America asked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. (AP)
Updated 18 June 2018
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Pompeo says China is engaging in ‘predatory economics 101’

  • He said China’s recent claims of “openness and globalization” are “a joke.”

DETROIT: China is engaging in “predatory economics 101” and an “unprecedented level of larceny” of intellectual property, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a business audience Monday.
Pompeo made the remarks at the Detroit Economic Club as global markets reacted to trade tensions between the US and China. Both nations started putting trade tariffs in motion that are set to take effect July 6.
He said China’s recent claims of “openness and globalization” are “a joke.” He added that China is a “predatory economic government” that is “long overdue in being tackled,” matters that include IP theft and Chinese steel and aluminum flooding the US market.
“Everyone knows ... China is the main perpetrator,” he said. “It’s an unprecedented level of larceny.”
“Just ask yourself: Would China have allowed America to do to it what China has done to America?” he said later. “This is predatory economics 101.”
The Chinese Embassy in Washington did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Pompeo raised the trade issue directly with China last week, when he met in Beijing with President Xi Jinping and others.
“I reminded him that’s not fair competition,” Pompeo said.
President Donald Trump has announced a 25 percent tariff on up to $50 billion in Chinese imports. China is retaliating by raising import duties on $34 billion worth of American goods, including soybeans, electric cars and whiskey. Trump also has slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports from Canada, Mexico and European allies.
Wall Street has viewed the escalating trade tensions with wariness, fearful they could strangle the economic growth achieved during Trump’s watch. Gary Cohn, Trump’s former top economic adviser, said last week that a “tariff battle” could result in price inflation and consumer debt — “historic ingredients for an economic slowdown.”
Pompeo on Monday described US actions as “economic diplomacy,” which, when done right, strengthens national security and international alliances, he added.
“We use American power, economic might and influence as a tool of economic policy,” he said. “We do our best to call out unfair economic behaviors as well.”