Russia, Ukraine reach deal to resume gas supply to Europe
www.chinaview.cn 2009-01-18 16:15:32   Print

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said Saturday that the Moscow summit aimed at ending the gas dispute between Moscow and Kiev is useful.

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)
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    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 Tymoshenko.

    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 Russian gas.

Russia sets stage for gas crisis summit 

Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (L-R), President Dmitry Medvedev and Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko meet European prime ministers in Barvikha outside Moscow January 14, 2009. European Union nations and firms may sue Russia and Ukraine unless the two countries quickly restore gas supplies to the bloc, the European Commission's president said on Wednesday. Russia met prime ministers Robert Fico of Slovakia, Zinaida Greceanii of Moldova and Sergei Stanishev of Bulgaria.

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. . (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)
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    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 transit via Ukraine 

    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 in Moscow

  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 Russia-Ukraine gas dispute?

   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

Editor: Bi Mingxin
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