Wednesday

24th Aug 2016

Barroso warns Russia against cutting Ukraine gas

  • EU commission president says Russia must maintain gas flows to Ukraine (Photo: Naftogaz of Ukraine)

The EU on Wednesday (21 May) warned Russia against interrupting gas supplies to Ukraine amid threats by state-owned Gazprom to cut flows.

“As long as the trilateral talks are on-going, gas flows should not be interrupted. I count on the Russian Federation to maintain this commitment,” said European Commission chief Jose Manuel Barroso in a letter to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Barroso’ letter comes after Putin threatened to halt supplies unless Ukraine pays back €2.55 billion for gas already delivered.

Russia supplies around 50 percent of Ukraine's gas requirements. It also supplies 30 percent of Europe's gas, mostly via Ukraine.

Gazprom has also threatened to cut supplies in June unless Ukraine starts to pay in advance for future shipments.

“Given the circumstances, the Russian company has issued an advance invoice for gas deliveries to Ukraine, which is completely in accordance with the contract, and after June 1 gas deliveries will be limited to the amount prepaid by the Ukrainian company,” Putin warned, the BBC reports.

Barroso noted that gas talks kicked off in early May between EU energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger and his Russian and Ukrainian counterparts.

“The discussions held have in particular covered the issue of the price for gas supplies to Ukraine and have established the willingness of the Government of Ukraine to pay the agreed upon arrears,” he said.

He noted Gazprom must also ensure deliveries of the required volumes as agreed in the supply contracts with European companies.

Russia had late last year offered a 33 percent discount on gas, along with a $15 billion loan, to Ukraine’s Yanukovich-led government.

But the discounted $270 (€198) per 1,000 cubic metres price has since doubled with Gazprom now demanding $485 (€350) per 1,000 cubic metres.

Oettinger, for his part, earlier this week announced a compromise to resolve the gas dispute with Russia could be reached by the end of the month.

The commissioner is set to meet Russian energy minister Alexander Novak and Ukrainian energy minister Yuriy Prodan for a second round of talks in Berlin on 26 May.

Slovakia's Fico goes to Russia

The Slovak prime minister, whose country currently chairs the EU council, will meet the Russian leader ahead of upcoming EU talks on Russia policy.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. HuaweiMaking Cities Smarter and Safer
  2. GoogleHow Google Makes Connections More Secure For Users
  3. EGBAThe EU Court of Justice Confirms the Application of Proportionality in Assessing Gambling Laws
  4. World VisionThe EU and Member States Must Not Use Overseas Aid for Promoting EU Interests
  5. Dialogue PlatformInterview: "There is a witch hunt against the Gulen Movement in Turkey"
  6. ACCAACCA Calls for ‘Future Looking’ Integrated Reporting Culture With IIRC and IAAER
  7. EURidNominate Your Favourite .eu or .ею Website for the .EU Web Awards 2016 Today!
  8. Dialogue PlatformAn Interview on Gulen Movement & Recent Coup Attempt in Turkey
  9. GoogleA Little Bird Told us to Start Tweeting About Google’s Work Across Europe. Learn More @GoogleBrussels
  10. Counter BalanceThe Trans Adriatic Pipeline: An Opportunity or a Scam in the Making for Albania?
  11. Counter BalanceThe Investment Plan for Europe: Business as Usual or True Innovation ?
  12. Belgrade Security ForumMigration, Security and Solidarity within Global Disorder: Academic Event 2016