Tuesday

24th May 2016

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.

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.

"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. Technical witness tells EP diesel cheating not necessary
  2. Poland presents 'solutions' to constitutional crisis
  3. Greek bailout without IMF not an option, says Dijsselbloem
  4. Germany's Bayer makes offer to buy US giant Monsanto
  5. Greece evacuates Idomeni migrant camp
  6. Austria: far-right candidate defeated
  7. EU boosts Mediterranean naval campaign
  8. Greece to evacuate Idomeni migrant camp

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Swedish EnterprisesNew rules for posted workers - Better Protection or the End of Posting ?
  2. Innovators Under 35Meet MIT Technology Review's Innovators Under 35 Award Recipients from Belgium on 25 May, 6pm
  3. Open EuropeJoin the Brussels Brexit Debate on Wednesday, 25 May at 5:00 PM
  4. World VisionWhy The EU Needs to Put Children at the Centre of Emergencies - In Their Words
  5. ACCASustainability Reporting in Danger of Losing Its Momentum Says ACCA and CDSB
  6. CEDEC - Covenant of MayorsWebinar on 25 May - Electric Vehicles Development: The Role of Local Entities
  7. Dialogue PlatformDiversity as Heritage of Humanity! Join the “Colors of the World“ Show at the EP
  8. Centre Maurits CoppietersNew Responses to the Basque Peace Process? MEP Juaristi on Stateless Challenges Conference
  9. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceImproving Cardiovascular Health Begins by Closing the Gap in Sex Disparities
  10. IPHRBrussels Talks to Take Stock of Human Rights in Turkmenistan
  11. World VisionCash-based Programming to Address Hunger in South Sudan:
  12. Belgrade Security ForumOpen Call for Applications! Join the Events Team at the 6th Belgrade Security Forum.

Latest News

  1. Austria vote is wake-up call for EU left
  2. Poland vows solution to judicial crisis
  3. Terrorists likely stockpiling explosives in EU, says Europol
  4. EU navies to help Libya coastguard stop migrants
  5. Merkel casts doubt on Turkey visa-free travel
  6. EU and Poland in last minute talks on rule of law
  7. Tough challenges ahead for Austria's president
  8. Search for VW compensation larger in EU than in US