EU suggests Russia, Ukraine sign interim gas agreement

The E.U. has suggested an interim agreement on the gas supplies between Russia and Ukraine without waiting for a Stockholm arbitrary court decision, E.U. Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said in a news conference following his meeting with Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko late Tuesday.

Two cases are before the Stockholm court, but the hearings will take 12-15 months, which is too long, while Europe needs an interim solution for this winter, Oettinger said.

In June, Russian gas giant Gazprom switched Ukraine off gas over the unpaid debt and filed a U.S. $4.5 billion suit to the Stockholm arbitration court. Later, Kiev reciprocated by sending a suit to the court against Gazprom for making Ukraine overpay $6 billion for gas since 2010, setting too high prices in its contract.

Oettinger also said the restart of the trilateral talks between the sides in September can “lay a basis for the activation of the political efforts on solving the conflict.” He also confirmed that he will discuss the restart of trilateral gas talks on Friday with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.

Source: PRIME, 2014

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