The last round of negotiations between Gazprom and the Ukrainian government yielded no positive result. What will happen next, after Gazprom decided to pull the plug on its Ukrainian exports?
The two previous gas wars between Russia and Ukraine show that the main victims will be the countries from Central and South-Eastern Europe which have a high level of dependency on Russian gas imports. After Gazprom stops delivering gas to Ukraine and keeps delivering only the gas that has to be transported to its European customers, the most likely outcome is that Kiev will start "unauthorized extractions" from those quantities. The plain English translation of the contractual term "unauthorized extractions" is "theft." Of course, the US-sponsored junta will blame Russia for everything and will claim that no theft occurs on its territory. This will result in a deadlock because accusations and reciprocal demands for compensation will pile on, blocking any meaningful ways of solving the crisis quickly. Given that the current Ukrainian government is a puppet of the US State Department it is safe to assume that Kiev will block any attempts to reach a compromise. The European Commission understands that and this is why Commissioner Oettinger has been desperately trying to avoid such a disastrous scenario.
Russia has shown the European Union its willingness to compromise, offered a $100 discount and a price that was considered "reasonable" even by the representatives of the commission. Gazprom postponed the deadline for cessation of deliveries four times and now the Russophobes from Bruxelles will have a hard time proving that Russia is interested in escalating the crisis. This is important because the European Commission will have to adopt a number of difficult measures in order to save Europe from freezing in winter. Even if gas consumption only goes up during the cold months, the gas storages have to be filled starting from late summer in order to be able to cope with winter demand. That is why, the European Commission will have to solve the gas transit problem as quick as practically possible.
Gazprom's offer to the EU is simple and requires no economic costs, but will surely irk the decision-makers in Washington. The Russian gas giant wants to be able to use the Nord Stream and OPAL pipelines at full capacity and will also demand a special status for South Stream, exempting it from the requirements of the so-called Third Energy Package of the European Union. US diplomacy has no way of saving the EU from freezing in winter so the most likely outcome for the new gas war between Russia and Ukraine is that Europe will accept most or even all of Gazprom's demands.