Tuesday

28th Feb 2017

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.

Feature

Armenia-Azerbaijan war: line of contact

“Front-line coffee is the best coffee in the world”, an Armenian soldier told EUobserver, with morale a key asset in the conflict.

News in Brief

  1. Le Pen party in new EU fraud allegations
  2. May to end rights of EU nationals after Article 50 triggered
  3. Nato warns against Armenia-Azerbaijan 'escalation'
  4. EU: No military solution to Nagorno-Karabakh war
  5. EU adopts visa-free brake mechanism
  6. Trump and Brexit drew on same resources
  7. Romanian protestors form EU flag at anti-government rally
  8. Over 3,500 attacks on refugees in Germany: report

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFA Deadly Journey for Children: The Migration Route From North Africa to Europe
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsFreedom of Association and Expression Under Threat in Kazakhstan
  3. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Brussels on March 6th
  4. EURORDISJoin Rare Disease Day and Help Advocate for More Research on Rare Diseases
  5. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceStudents Who Are Considered Fit Get Better Grades in School
  6. QS World MBA TourMeet with Leading International Business Schools in Paris on March 4th
  7. Malta EU 2017Economic Governance: Agreement Reached on Structural Reform Support Programme for Member States
  8. Socialists & DemocratsWomen Have to Work Ten Years Longer to Match Lifetime Earnings of Men
  9. Counter BalanceTrans-Adriatic Pipeline Is a Major Risk for Banks, Warns New Analysis
  10. Martens CentreEU and US Migration Policies Compared: Join the Debate on February 28th
  11. Swedish EnterprisesTechnology and Data Flows - Shaping the Society of Tomorrow
  12. UNICEFNearly 1.4 Million Children at Risk of Death as Famine Looms Across Africa and Yemen