Managing consumer hostility to free-market prices is just one of the many challenges facing Naftogaz. The acrimonious dismissal of its chief executive Andriy Kobolev in April caused alarm among Ukraine's Western backers. Kobolev oversaw progress in reforming the gas market and hiving off the pipeline network.
- Washington's actions effectively end Ukraine's efforts to block the pipeline, though lobbying will continue.
- The new Naftogaz chief's plan to shift European buyers' delivery points from western to eastern Ukraine may breach contracts with Russia.
- Pricing for household utilities will continue to be 'weaponised' by the opposition.