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EU hopeful of gas deal between Ukraine and Russia

27.Sep.14, 11:24; Icon 1032; Date 0; Attitude +0 | 0 | -0

The EU's energy commissioner is hopeful of a deal between Ukraine and Russia to end their dispute over gas deliveries after three-way talks in Berlin.

Guenther Oettinger outlined a plan which would see Russia supply Ukraine over the winter and into the spring.

Ukraine would pay Russia $2bn (£1.2bn) of its gas debt by the end of October and another $1.1bn by the year's end.

The talks will continue next week. Russia halted supplies in June over Ukraine's unpaid debts.

Relations had soured after the overthrow of Ukraine's pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych, in February and Russia's subsequent support for separatists in Crimea and other Ukrainian regions.
'Price at issue'

Friday's talks came after Hungary cut its gas deliveries to Ukraine, arguing that it needed to stock up its reserves.

Hungary was criticised by the European Commission but argued that it could not risk being cut off by Russia before winter set in.

Mr Oettinger said the amount of gas delivered from Gazprom to Ukraine's Naftogaz state gas firm was "undisputed" but the price was still "at issue".

Under the EU plan, in return for the debt repayment, Gazprom would supply at least 5bn cubic metres of gas to Ukraine at $385 per 1,000 cubic metre, to be paid in advance.

"Now the price is being debated in court and no party will have an interest in damaging its legal position in front of the court," the EU energy commissioner said.


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