Gazprom pipelines and export capacity

Gas pipelines of West Siberia

Export flows of Gazprom

Gas prices


Putin's math of Gas War


Gas math of Vladimir Putin

Speaking about the 2009 gas conflict with Ukraine, Vladimir Putin said that Russia "has never failed to abide by its commitments" and tried to prove this statement by a simple mathematical exercise.

"Ukraine did not want to sign a new contract with Russia, and the old one had expired," Mr. Putin said, "and without signing a new contract, they began siphoning certain volumes of gas from the export pipeline in the winter. At first, we tolerated this, simply indicated to them that this was unacceptable. We tolerated it for some time, and then said that every day, we will reduce the amount of gas pumped equal in volume to the amount illegally taken essentially stolen. They stole one million cubic meters one day, so the next day, we reduced the volume pumped out by a million cubic meters. And we continued this, from day to day. Eventually, we reduced it to zero."

Notably, the real numbers for this mathematical exercise can be found in an earlier speech of Vladimir Putin. First, "on January 1, the flow of transit gas through Ukraine amounted to 326 million cubic meters". Second, "at about 7 a.m. on January 7" the Ukrainian transit came to full stop (or zero). Third, "86 million cubic meters was stolen" in the period between January 1 and 6. The real numbers of President Putin result in the following equation.

326 - 86 = 0

In January 2009, Russia and Ukraine disagreed about the origin of and payment for 86 million cubic meters of fuel gas for Ukrainian compressor stations. The reduction of export flow of Russian gas to Europe was suggested by Alexey Miller and approved by Vladimir Putin.

The case was never taken to court.

Mikhail Korchemkin

East European Gas Analysis

Malvern, PA, USA


November 19, 2014


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Last modified: 11/04/19                    East European Gas Analysis 2006-2019                                           Email:
Reproduction or use of materials is allowed only with reference to East European Gas Analysis or