Wednesday

28th Sep 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.

EU rushing to ratify climate agreement

Environment ministers will try to agree this week to speed up the process to sign up to the Paris agreement. Otherwise it would not be present at the table of the signatories at a conference in November.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. GoogleDid You Know Europe's Largest Dinosaur Gallery Is in Brussels? Check It Out Now
  2. IPHRHuman Rights in Uzbekistan After Karimov - Joint Statement
  3. CISPECloud Infrastructure Providers Unveil Data Protection Code of Conduct
  4. EFAMessages of Hope From the Basque Country and Galicia
  5. Access NowDigital Rights Heroes and Villains. See Who Protects Your Rights, Who Wants to Take Them Away
  6. Martens CentreQuo Vadis Georgia? What to Expect From the Parliamentary Elections. Debate on 29 September
  7. EJCAppalled by Recommendation to Remove Hamas From EU Terrorism Watch List
  8. GoogleBringing Education to Refugees in Lebanon With the Clooney Foundation for Justice
  9. HuaweiAn Industry-leading ICT Solution Provider and Building a Better World
  10. World VisionUN Refugees Meeting a Wasted Opportunity to Improve the Lives of Millions of Children
  11. Belgrade Security ForumCan Democracy Survive Global Disorder?
  12. GoogleTrimming the Waste-Line: Weaving Circular Economy Principles Into Our Operations