Tuesday

14th Jul 2020

EU to hold extraordinary gas group meeting

The EU is to hold an extraordinary gas meeting to discuss the latest energy dispute between Ukraine and Russia and to assess whether any actions should be taken.

"The Commission is going to convene the Gas Coordination Group in mid-October to evaluate the situation of this bilateral dispute and the consequences that it may have to the supply of gas to the European Union," a commission spokesperson said on Wednesday (3 October).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

  • The EU fears a repetition of the gas supply disruption of 2006 (Photo: Gazprom)

He added that representatives from Russia and Ukraine will be invited to the meeting "to give us as much information as possible about this bilateral commercial dispute."

The Gas Coordination Group, set up in 2004, is a group of gas experts that analyses possible scenarios in which disruptions of gas supply may occur.

The group also proposes solutions to assure uninterrupted supply to all EU member states through a framework of solidarity between member states.

The latest meeting of the group was prompted by a threat on Tuesday (2 October) by Russian energy giant Gazprom to cut gas supplies to Ukraine unless Kiev pays a €900 million debt by the end of this month.

Russia accounts for one quarter of the EU's gas consumption, and eighty percent of the gas is transported through Ukraine, leading to fears that the recent dispute could affect the bloc's energy supply – something that happened during a similar dispute in early 2006.

Gazprom reliable, says EU

The Commission said it considers Gazprom a reliable energy supplier and welcomed the prior notification to the EU of the dispute.

"We have had 30 years of constant supplies and respect of contracts. So in general terms, we consider Gazprom a reliable supplier. Certainly, we consider it is positive that they have informed the Commission before [taking] any decision," said the spokesperson.

Both Gazprom and Ukraine promised the EU that their dispute would not disrupt Russian gas exports as happened in 2006.

The Commission also refused to respond to speculations that the dispute is politically motivated, stressing that it considered the dispute to be commercial, not political.

It called on both sides to resolve the quarrel as soon as possible.

On Wednesday, Ukraine energy minister Yuriy Boiko travelled to Russia to hold negotiations with Gazprom in an effort to solve the crisis. Prime minister Viktor Yanukovych said that he is considering heading to Moscow, as well.

Gazprom threatens to cut Ukranian gas supplies

Russian energy giant Gazprom has threatened to cut gas supplies to Ukraine unless Kiev pays a €900-million debt by the end of this month – something which could also affect EU gas supplies transiting through Ukraine.

Election results in Ukraine prolong uncertainty

Ukraine is on the verge of further political turmoil as Sunday's snap parliamentary elections ended in tight results between the country's two main rivals. Meanwhile, Ukraine's president has called for an urgent probe into the vote.

Eminent women appeal for EU help on Palestine

West Bank annexation "was conceived almost entirely by men" and will crush the "dignity and rights" of Palestinian women still further, a group of 40 women leaders have said.

News in Brief

  1. Croatia opens for US tourists, defying EU ban
  2. Poll: only 61% of Germans would get Covid-19 vaccine
  3. UK to spend €788m on new UK-EU border control system
  4. Berlin wants first use of EU cyber sanctions on Russia
  5. Erdogan warns neighbours over hydrocarbon reserves
  6. Bulgaria: political crisis amid anti-corruption protests
  7. Pope and Turkish-German leader join Hagia Sophia protest
  8. France and UK create joint migrant intelligence unit

Opinion

Entering a new, more Putin-like, Russia

The so-called "all-Russia" vote finishing today, with more than 200 amendments to the Russian constitution, has been marked by systematic electoral fraud, mass mobilisation of the administrative resources, populistic promises or exploiting the historical memory.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNEW REPORT: Eight in ten people are concerned about climate change
  3. UNESDAHow reducing sugar and calories in soft drinks makes the healthier choice the easy choice
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersGreen energy to power Nordic start after Covid-19
  5. European Sustainable Energy WeekThis year’s EU Sustainable Energy Week (EUSEW) will be held digitally!
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic states are fighting to protect gender equality during corona crisis

Latest News

  1. Poland's EU-battles to continue as Duda wins tight vote
  2. EU 'in-person' summit plus key data privacy ruling This WEEK
  3. Let's have positive discrimination for EU stagiaires
  4. We need to do more for our small and medium-sized enterprises
  5. Romania's virus surge prompts queues and new worries
  6. Michel lays out compromise budget plan for summit
  7. Border pre-screening centres part of new EU migration pact
  8. EU 'failed to protect bees and pollinators', report finds

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us