Thursday

19th Sep 2019

EU energy chief aims for Ukraine-Russia gas deal by end-May

  • Oettinger - A deal on how much Ukraine pays for Russian gas will be agreed next week (Photo: European Commission)

EU energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger has promised to try to resolve a gas price dispute between Russia and Ukraine by the end of May.

Speaking on Monday (19 May) after holding talks with Russian energy minister Alexander Novak and a representative of Gazprom, the state-owned energy giant, Oettinger promised that a compromise would be reached before the end of the month.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

"We have a timeframe that ends on June 1. We want to do all we can in two rounds of talks next week to clear up the open questions," he told German television.

He said progress had been made in recent days.

"We have in the last few days made progress on a number of issues but we still have no agreement," said Oettinger. The second round of talks between Novak and his Ukrainian counterpart Yuriy Prodan are set to take place in Berlin on 26 May.

At the core of the dispute is how much Ukraine owes for gas since last autumn as well as for future supplies. Ukraine relies on Russia for more than 50 percent of its gas needs and fears that Moscow may use the price dispute as reason to cut supplies

Gazprom is demanding $485 (€350) per 1,000 cubic metres, a figure which Oettinger has described as being well above the market rate. By comparison, Gazprom revealed earlier this year that it charged EU countries an average price of $387 per 1,000 cubic meters in 2013.

Ukraine has not paid for gas it imported in the last quarter of 2013 and the first four months of this year, and accuses Gazprom of nearly doubling its prices in a bid to put more pressure on its cash-strapped government which is trying to break free of Russia's influence.

For its part, Ukraine has offered Moscow $4 billion (€2.9 billion) to cover its bills up to and including May, based on the rate of $268.50 per 1,000 cubic meters which it had previously been charged.

"Somewhere in the middle would seem to be a fair result of negotiations," said the commissioner.

News in Brief

  1. EU adds €100m to research and Erasmus budgets
  2. Ambassador: UK Poles should 'seriously consider' leaving
  3. Trump's UK ambassador stirs up anti-EU feeling
  4. Brexit chaos is lesson to other EU states, ECB governor says
  5. EU condemns Israel's latest land grab
  6. Scotland to keep some laws aligned with EU after Brexit
  7. Spain to hold fresh election in November
  8. Turkey ups pressure on visa-free entry into EU

Column

These are the crunch issues for the 2019-2024 EU commission

These developments will largely determine who will be running the world in the coming decades and perhaps generations. If the Europeans can't find an answer over the five years, they will be toast. And we haven't even mentioned climate change.

Podcast

Trumpworld In Europe

Pastors and plutocrats are sponsoring an ultra-conservative agenda in Europe. Many of them have links to Donald Trump.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNew programme studies infectious diseases and antibiotic resistance
  2. UNESDAUNESDA reduces added sugars 11.9% between 2015-2017
  3. International Partnership for Human RightsEU-Uzbekistan Human Rights Dialogue: EU to raise key fundamental rights issues
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNo evidence that social media are harmful to young people
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCanada to host the joint Nordic cultural initiative 2021
  6. Vote for the EU Sutainable Energy AwardsCast your vote for your favourite EUSEW Award finalist. You choose the winner of 2019 Citizen’s Award.
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersEducation gets refugees into work
  8. Counter BalanceSign the petition to help reform the EU’s Bank
  9. UNICEFChild rights organisations encourage candidates for EU elections to become Child Rights Champions
  10. UNESDAUNESDA Outlines 2019-2024 Aspirations: Sustainability, Responsibility, Competitiveness
  11. Counter BalanceRecord citizens’ input to EU bank’s consultation calls on EIB to abandon fossil fuels
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsAnnual EU-Turkmenistan Human Rights Dialogue takes place in Ashgabat

Latest News

  1. A new Commission for the one percent
  2. Juncker: No-deal Brexit 'palpable'
  3. Germany adopts blockchain strategy and says no to Libra
  4. Revanchist Russia continues to rewrite European history
  5. How EU trains discriminate against the disabled
  6. These are the crunch issues for the 2019-2024 EU commission
  7. Defending the 'European way of life' name splits MEPs
  8. Hungary claims EU 'witch-hunt' over rule of law hearing

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us