Monday

25th Sep 2017

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.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

"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.

Merkel survives election 'earthquake'

Christian-democrat leader set to rule Germany together with liberals and greens, but with a new troublemaker - the AfD party - on the scene.

Feature

Syrians find troubled homes in Egypt

Despite EU aid, Syrian families are finding it difficult to integrate into Egyptian society, with reports now emerging that some Syrian girls are subjected to genital mutilation.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. EU2017EEEU Finance Ministers Agreed to Develop New Digital Taxation Rules
  2. Mission of China to the EUGermany Stands Ready to Deepen Cooperation With China
  3. World VisionFirst Ever Young People Consultation to Discuss the Much Needed Peace in Europe
  4. European Jewish CongressGermany First Country to Adopt Working Definition of Antisemitism
  5. EU2017EEFour Tax Initiatives to Modernise the EU's Tax System
  6. Dialogue PlatformResponsibility in Practice: Gulen & Islamic Thought
  7. Counter BalanceHuman Rights Concerns Over EIB Loan to the Trans Anatolian Pipeline Project
  8. Mission of China to the EUChina Leads the Global Clean Energy Transition
  9. CES - Silicones EuropeFrom Baking Moulds to Oven Mitts, Silicones Are a Key Ingredient in Kitchens
  10. Martens CentreFor a New Europeanism: How to Put the Motto "Unity in Diversity" Into Practice
  11. Access MBAGet Ahead With an MBA Degree. Top MBA Event in Brussels
  12. Idealist QuarterlyIdealist Quarterly Event: Building Fearless Democracies With Gerald Hensel