Monday, April 28, 2014

 

Russia,(EU) European Union,Ukraine gas talks planned for May:ministry

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and European Union (EU) Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger agreed to hold three-party talks over Russian natural gas supplies to Ukraine in early May, the Russian Energy Ministry said Monday.

The two officials agreed in a phone conversation to hold the talks on May 2 in the Polish capital of Warsaw, the ministry said in a statement.

The Ukrainian authorities have yet to confirm its participation in the meeting aimed to solve the lasting crisis over Kiev's debt for the Russian gas supplies, according to the ministry.

Talks scheduled for last Thursday in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava between Ukraine, Russia, Slovakia and the European Commission (EC) over the gas crisis were called off after Russian and EC representatives pulled out.

Ukraine's direct debt to Russian gas monopoly Gazprom has exceeded 2.2 billion U.S. dollars and kept growing, Russian Ministry for Economic Development said in early April.

On April 20, Russian President Vladimir Putin again warned Kiev that Moscow would not wait forever for Ukraine to settle its gas debts.

Putin warned EU leaders earlier this month that the region's energy security was at risk due to Ukraine's mounting gas debts. EC President Jose Manuel Barroso responded by agreeing to gas security talks with Russia and Ukraine and he also urged Moscow not to cut off supplies to Ukraine.

Russia supplies about a quarter of Europe's gas needs, although most of the those supplies pass through transit pipelines in Ukraine.

To trim its reliance on Russian supplies which cost 485 U.S. dollars per 1,000 cubic meters in the second quarter of 2014, Kiev is seeking to launch a reverse gas flow from Western Europe through Slovakia.

On Monday, Slovak gas-pipeline operator Eustream signed a memorandum of understanding on reverse gas flow to Ukraine with Ukrainian operator Ukrtransgaz.
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