Friday, August 29, 2014

Outcome of gas talks between Vice-President Oettinger and Russian Energy Minister Novak

European Commission, Statement, Moscow, 29 August 2014:

At today’s meeting in Moscow with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Vice-President of the EU Commission Günther H. Oettinger reiterated his proposal to have an interim solution including an interim price.
Both agreed that a solution should contain the following four elements:
  • the interim price
  • the fulfilment of all supply and transit obligations
  • a repayment plan for the unpaid bills to be developed by the next few weeks
  • the use of OPAL pipeline

At the press conference following the bilateral meeting, Vice-President Oettinger said:
“We have to agree on an interim gas price for the next few months, while waiting for the Stockholm arbitration court to decide on the final price.  In addition: Ukraine has to pay an account for the gas to be delivered in the months to come." 

“Our main goal is to secure gas supply to the EU and its citizens, but also to the citizens in Russia, Ukraine, the Western Balkans, including accession countries and Moldova.”
Speaking about the worsening situation at the Eastern border of the Ukraine, Vice-President Oettinger expressed his concern:

"I came to Moscow to prepare the next trilateral gas talks as agreed in Minsk. At the same time, I have to express my concern. The news that Russian soldiers are operating inside Ukraine does not reflect the spirit of Minsk. Respecting the sovereignty of national borders is vital to preserve peace."
  • Russia says open to gas talks with Ukraine, offers discount...

MOSCOW - Russia is open to talks on resuming gas supplies to Ukraine and willing to offer a price cut of nearly 20 percent, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Friday, but the discounted price is still above the level Kiev demands.
Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed late last year to cut the gas price for Ukraine to $268.50 per 1,000 cubic meters after then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said he would drop a planned trade agreement with the European Union in favor of joining a Russian-led Customs Union.
But Yanukovich was toppled by mass protests in February, and Moscow hiked the price to $485, which was rejected by Kiev. Russia cut off the gas flow in mid-June after the two sides failed to agree on pricing and debts owed for previous gas supplies.
Novak said after meeting European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger in Moscow that Russia was ready to apply a retroactive discount of $100 per 1,000 cubic meters for April-June. Ukraine has insisted on returning to the old price of $268.50, while signaling it might agree to pay just above $300.
Relations between the two former Soviet republics are in crisis. Kiev accuses Moscow of sending soldiers into Ukraine to back pro-Russian separatist rebels, something Russia denies.
But Novak said Moscow was prepared for new gas talks. "We will agree the date for a trilateral meeting at the beginning of next week," he said.
Despite the cut-off to Ukraine, Russian gas has been flowing normally across Ukraine to Europe, which receives about half its imports of Russian gas via this route.
Novak said Kiev might start siphoning off some of this gas in the coming winter if it fails to add to its storage facilities before then. He said Ukraine had stockpiled up to 16 billion cubic meters but needed to pump as much as 10 billion more into storage.
There was no immediate comment from Kiev.
Oettinger told the same briefing that gas must not be used as a weapon in the Ukraine-Russia crisis.
He said the two sides and the European Commission needed to work out an interim solution, given that international arbitration would not be able to resolve the pricing and debt dispute before the middle of next year.
Russian gas exporter Gazprom has said Ukraine owes it more than $5 billion in unpaid bills.
"We always said that through the crisis we don't see the gas sector as a tool for sanctions, measures and escalations. That is also true today," Oettinger said.
In 2013 Russian gas accounted for half of the total gas consumed in Ukraine. REUTERS
  • La Russie évoque de "forts risques" pour les livraisons de gaz vers l'Europe...
Selon le ministre russe de l'Energie, "le gaz livré par Gazprom pour l'Europe" pourrait être "illégalement prélevé par l'Ukraine pour ses propres besoin".

L'hiver approche et... le ministre russe de l'Energie Alexandre Novak a mis en garde vendredi 29 août contre les risques qui pèsent sur la livraison de gaz russe vers l'Europe lors d'une conférence de presse avec le commissaire européen à l'Energie Günther Oettinger.
"La situation est hautement critique à l'approche de la saison de chauffage", a déclaré le ministre russe, ajoutant qu'"il y a un risque que le gaz livré par Gazprom pour l'Europe soit illégalement prélevé par l'Ukraine pour ses propres besoins".
La Russie a coupé mi-juin ses livraisons de gaz à l'Ukraine, qui refuse la hausse des prix imposée par Gazprom après l'arrivée au pouvoir des pro-occidentaux à Kiev et accumulé selon Alexandre Novak 5,3 milliards de dollars de gaz.
Cette décision fait craindre des perturbations des livraisons de gaz russe vers l'Union européenne, dont près de la moitié transite sur le territoire ukrainien, comme lors des précédentes "guerres du gaz" en 2006 et 2009............................

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