Planning Winter Gas: Ukraine Seeks EU Mediation in Talks with Russia

Written by | Friday, July 22nd, 2016

Ukraine has requested the European Commission for mediation with Russia over securing gas supplies from Gazprom. Vice-President for the Energy Union, Maros Sefcovic, was asked to lead the talks with Moscow on Ukraine’s gas purchases, which are also important for securing the transit of Russian gas to the EU. This move seems to be a U-turn in the mutual Ukraine-Russia ties. The European Union is, however, keen to mediate between both parties as it fell prey to the outage in Gazprom’s deliverables in the winter of 2009.

During summers, Ukraine fills in storage facilities, which are needed both for the country’s own consumption but also for transit to the EU. The replenishment is usually taking place until mid-October. Mr Sefcovic has already met with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, who replaced Arseny Yatsenyuk, last April. Commissioner Sefcovic added that the Ukrainian partners were keen on continuing the trilateral format with Russia, which had proven to be successful over the last winter.

“We have every intention to continue in this format”, said the Commission Vice President and added that Ukraine had informed him that the country had sufficient funds to fill in its gas storage. “For that, as it was in previous times, not only the addendum to the contracts between Gazprom and Naftogaz should be updated, but also there is strong wish from the Ukrainian side to look at how we can update the protocol we signed last winter,” Mr Sefcovic further explained. He added that he would visit both countries in September, hoping that a constructive solution can again be found.

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