EU-Ukraine-Russian Crisis Gas Talks Set to Commence

Written by | Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

The European Union and Russia have agreed yesterday (29 April) on a tentative date and venue for trilateral talks with Ukraine to discuss the hot issue of the Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and the reverse gas supplies from the EU. Russian President Vladimir Putin has threatened that Russia could possibly stop its gas supplies to Ukraine due to the 2-billion-USD debt that Kiev has for unpaid gas bills.
EU Energy Commissioner, Guenther Oettinger, and his Russian counterpart, Energy Minister Alexander Novak, have already talked about Russia’s gas supplies to both Ukraine and the other directly involved EU Member States. They emphasized the need for EU-Russia-Ukraine talks, the EU Commissioner’s spokesperson, Sabine Berger, announced. One of the possibilities suggested a meeting taking place on May 2 in Warsaw. So far, Mr Oettinger and Mr Novak have agreed, and Ukraine’s Energy Minister, Yuriy Prodan, has reportedly “principally agreed” as well. Minister Prodan also added that the gas price has ranged from about 270 USD per 1,000 cubic meters to about 485 USD imposed on Kiev and warned that Moscow could halt its supplies “at any moment”. After ex-President Yanukovych had refused to sign the association agreement with the EU, the Russian oil giant Gazprom decreased the price of oil for Ukraine by a third – to approximately 270 USD per tcm. After Mr Yanukovych had fled the country, Gazprom in turn increased gas price by 80 percent to 485 USD per tcm.
Ukraine’s Prime Minister, Arseny Yatsenyuk, said his country was ready to pay Russia’s Gazprom 268 USD per 1,000 cubic metres of gas and would also quickly pay back the debt of 2.2 billion USD. He also stressed that the Ukrainian state-owned company Naftogaz has commenced procedures to sue Gazprom at an arbitration tribunal in Stockholm due to inflated prices.

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