Russian President Dmitry Medvedev (L)
and Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko step into the meeting room
of Moscow International Conference on Ensuring Delivery of Russian Gas
Supplies to Consumers in Europe, in Moscow, capital of Russia, on Jan. 17,
2009. The summit gathering Russian, Ukrainian, EU and other leaders began
here Saturday in a new push to end the gas dispute between Moscow and Kiev
that has left millions of Europeans without heating in the depths of
winter for more than a week. (Xinhua/Shen Bohan)
MOSCOW, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Russian Prime Minister
Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Yulia Tymoshenko Sunday reached a
new deal to resume gas supply to Europe soon.
"We have reached an agreement," Putin said after
negotiations with Tymoshenko over the current gas row that has left millions of
Europeans without heating in the depths of winter for more than a week.
"As our Ukrainian partner assured us, the transit
will be resumed shortly," Putin said in a joint televised statement with
Leaders of Russia and Ukraine have tasked their
respective national gas companies, Russia's Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz, with
drawing up agreements no later than Monday, Tymoshenko said.
"All natural gas supplies will resume as soon as
these documents are signed," she said.
Tymoshenko described the all-night talks as "not
easy" but "fruitful," saying the two sides had finally achieved a mutual
understanding that allowed them to sign agreements.
The breakthrough came after the European Union (EU)
mounted pressure for an immediate resumption of gas supplies, and warned that it
would review its relations with both Russia and Ukraine if the two failed to
resolve their dispute this weekend.
Under the new gas transit deal, Moscow and Kiev
agreed that Russia would sell Ukraine gas "based on the European price formula"
but would offer a 20-percent discount for 2009.
"Starting from Jan. 1, 2010, we will completely
switch to European price standard both on gas and gas transit," Putin said.
In return for the discount, Ukraine agreed to keep
its transit fee for Russian gas at a preferential level.
However, it is still unclear whether Tymoshenko has
the backing of her domestic political rival Ukrainian President Viktor
Yushchenko to stick to the terms she negotiated in Moscow.
Last year, Tymoshenko flew to Moscow and managed to
negotiate a gas deal with Putin, which, however, was vetoed by Yushchenko right
after she returned to Kiev.
Moscow and Kiev started negotiation on Saturday. It
was their first face-to-face talk between governments since early January when
their gas dispute started.
The talks followed a summit in Moscow of
gas-consuming nations at the Kremlin on Saturday afternoon which failed to
resolve the dispute.
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev told a press
conference following the summit that he expected to resume gas supply to Europe
within the next few days.
The Russian leader said he hoped Tymoshenko was
authorized to represent Ukraine during the negotiation on the gas crisis.
While stressing the need to diversify the routes of
Russian gas exports, Medvedev also insisted that Ukraine pay market prices for
Russia sets stage for gas crisis
Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
(L-R), President Dmitry Medvedev and Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko meet
European prime ministers in Barvikha outside Moscow Jan. 14, 2009. .
MOSCOW, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Dmitry
Medvedev will host an international summit on Saturday in a bid to end the gas
row between Moscow and Kiev, which has left hundreds of thousands of Europeans
without heating in the depths of winter for more than a week.
Medvedev proposed holding the summit of importers of
Russian gas in Europe on Wednesday after meeting with the prime ministers of
Slovakia, Moldova and Bulgaria, countries most affected by supply shortfalls.
Ukrainian president holds talks with
East European leaders on gas issue
KIEV, Jan. 16 (Xinhua) -- Ukrainian President Viktor
Yushchenkoon Friday held talks with visiting East European leaders on the
ongoing gas crisis.
Yushchenko met with his Slovak counterpart Ivan
Gasparovic and Moldovan Prime Minister Zinaida Greciani in Kiev as Russia
struggled to win support for an emergency international summit on the gas crisis
in Moscow on Saturday. Full story
Putin proposes EU pay to secure gas
MOSCOW, Jan. 15
(Xinhua) -- The European Union (EU) should set up a consortium to purchase from
Russia the gas Ukraine says needed to resume supplies to Europe, Russian Prime
Minister Vladimir Putin proposed on Thursday.
"We are proposing that our European partners share
the risks and set up an international consortium that could buy from (Russian
gas monopoly) Gazprom the necessary amount of gas and immediately send it to
Ukraine to secure gas transit to Europe," Putin was quoted by RIA Novosti as
saying in a meeting with the head of Italian energy company ENI. Full story
Reports: Gas crisis summit to be held
MOSCOW, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) --
Russia and Ukraine will hold a summit here on Saturday in a bid to end the
current gas dispute, Russian news agencies reported on Thursday.
"Invitations are being sent to heads of state and
governments of European countries that consume and transit Russian gas," Natalya
Timakova, the Russian president's press secretary, was quoted by RIA Novosti and
Interfax as saying. Full story
EU to join summit of gas-consuming
nations in Moscow
BRUSSELS, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The European Union will
take part in a summit of gas-consuming nations in Moscow on Saturday, Johannes
Laitenberger, spokesman of the 27-member bloc said here on Thursday.
Laitenberger told a briefing that EU Energy
Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Czech Energy Minister Martin Riman, whose
country is holding the current EU presidency, were ready to join the summit,
which aims to bring about a solution to the gas dispute between Russia and
Ukraine. Full story
News Analysis: What is behind
BEIJING, Jan. 16 (Xinhua)
-- Russia, Ukraine and the European Union (EU) signed an agreement on Monday to
restore Russia's gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine as early as Tuesday morning.
But Russia and Ukraine afterward blamed each other on
the issue, and Russia has yet to supply gas to Ukraine and Europe. Full story