EU Invites Russia, Ukraine for Talks over Gas Supply Dispute
The EU has invited the energy ministers of Russia and Ukraine to a meeting over gas supply problems on Monday.
The European Commission Vice President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic had sent letters to the energy ministers of the two countries inviting them to a trilateral meeting in Brussels over gas supplies, a spokesperson said on Thursday.
The move comes a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin said Gazprom would suspend gas deliveries to Ukraine unless Kiev pre-paid for the supplies as agreed last year. Putin also accused Ukraine of halting supplies to rebel-held Donetsk and Luhansk regions in eastern Ukraine.
Earlier this week Gazprom warned that supplies of Russin gas to the EU were at a serious risk because Ukraine had allegedly failed to pay in advance for new supplies. Ukraine’s Naftogaz had a different version, though, accusing Gazprom of not delivering gas volumes for which Ukraine had already paid in advance.
With a large portion of Russian natural gas deliveries to the EU flowing through Ukraine, a halt in supplies to Ukraine could disrupt onward deliveries to Europe for a fourth time in a decade.
Sefcovic said at a news conference that the issues of supplies and the price of gas for Donetsk and Luhansk regions was treated separately from the package agreed between Moscow and Kiev that guarantees gas deliveries to Ukraine during this winter.
"We are now waiting for final confirmation from both sides whether they will participate," Commission spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said.
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