News / Europe

    EU Urges Russia to Weigh Improved Offer for Ukraine Gas

    European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger addresses a news conference in Vienna, June 16, 2014. European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger addresses a news conference in Vienna, June 16, 2014.
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    European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger addresses a news conference in Vienna, June 16, 2014.
    European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger addresses a news conference in Vienna, June 16, 2014.
    Reuters
    The European Union's mediator in a gas standoff between Russia and Ukraine urged Moscow on Monday to consider a compromise gas pricing offer for deliveries to Ukraine and he said he hoped to convene more talks this month.
     
    European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, who has brokered a series of three-way talks between Russia, Ukraine and the EU, was speaking in Vienna following the latest round of negotiations that ended without a deal in the early hours of Monday.
     
    “My appeal to the Russian partners [is to consider] whether the proposed compromise would not be acceptable for them with some adjustments,” he told a news conference.
     
    “Further invitations for trilateral talks in June are foreseen.”
     
    Oettinger said gas storage in Ukraine was comfortable at around 12 billion cubic meters (bcm), which should also help to cushion the EU from any knock-on reduction in gas supplies shipped to the EU through Ukraine.
     
    Ukraine's annual gas demand is around 55 bcm so this is equivalent to nearly a quarter of annual demand.
     
    Oettinger said Ukraine intended to fulfill its gas transit commitments to the European Union and he had no doubt that Russia would meet its gas supply pledges to corporate customers in the EU. But he stressed that the EU still needed to top up  gas storage.
     
    “If the storage is not filled then perhaps we all will have a problem in winter,” he said.
     
    Russian gas exporter Gazprom said early on Monday it was reducing shipments of gas to Ukraine, following the breakdown of talks.
     
    Arguments over the legality of the South Stream pipeline, being built by Gazprom to ship gas directly to Europe while bypassing Ukraine, have complicated the price row.
     
    Oettinger has said the project breaches EU law, but signaled on Monday the issues were not insurmountable.
     
    “South Stream is a project that we indeed accept,” he said.

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    Comments
         
    by: Beth from: US
    June 16, 2014 3:07 PM
    The sooner Ukraine joins EU and the rest of Europe wanes itself off of Russian gas the better. Russia will be even more of a third world nation by the time this is over unless they develop sense. Ukraine is not Russia and should be allowed to go its own way.

    by: meanbill from: USA
    June 16, 2014 12:50 PM
    CRAZY isn't it? -- Ukraine doesn't care what price the Russian gas costs, (when they don't have the money to pay for anything), and whatever the bills are that Ukraine owes, the US and EU has already agreed to pay them, didn't they? --- (who needs to pay bills, or needs a budget, if somebody else will pay the bills?)

    by: Maria Thomas from: U.S>
    June 16, 2014 11:07 AM
    Russia is within her rights to cut off the gas to both Eu and Ukraine, they want to stall the pipeline development to cater to U.S. interests
    , they think Russia should bow to Ukraine and let her have gas at below market which she intends to re-sell and undercut Gazprom with, the only people I know that would try that manuever are criminals and drug dealers....Europe needs to come to the understanding of what the Ukrainians are really capable of and right now that is holding Eu hostage with the lack of a gas deal.

    by: Amvet from: Germany
    June 16, 2014 10:06 AM
    After helping the US to do the bloody coup in the Ukraine and put their men in power, the EU is no longer trusted. Mr. Oettinger should pay the overdue bill before requesting a new price.

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