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News, September 2014
Russia, Ukraine Reach Interim Deal on Gas Dispute With Help from European Union
September 27, 2014
Russia, Ukraine reach interim deal on gas dispute
BERLIN, Sept. 26, 2014 (Xinhua) --
European Union (EU) Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said Friday that Russia and Ukraine had agreed in principle on an interim deal over gas supplies and would meet next week to decide on final details.
The EU, Ukraine and Russia held a trilateral mainisterial meeting on energy security in Berlin on Friday.
The three sides were represented by Oettinger, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan respectively. Representatives of Russian and Ukrainian gas companies also attended the meeting.
Speaking at a press conference after the talks, Oettinger said the three sides had hold intensive talks Friday and negotiated a plan to secure gas supplies in Europe for the coming winter.
According to the "winter package" mediated by the EU, Kiev would pay 2 billion U.S. dollars to Russia by the end of October and a further 1.1 billion dollars by the end of this year to pay off gas debts.
In return, Russia would deliver at least 5 billion cubic meters of gas to Ukraine after it has received the first 2 billion dollars. The price discussed for the gas deliveries was 385 dollars per 1,000 cubic meters.
Novak told the press conference that the three sides had made a plan as a basis to solve the gas dispute and to secure gas supplies to Ukraine and EU member states for the next six months.
Prodan said he believed Ukraine and Russia could settle questions and differences remained on issues concerning gas price and payment of the old debts.
The interim agreement has to be approved by the governments in Moscow and Kiev, and further trilateral talks were planned next week to decide on final details of the deal, said Oettinger, adding that the chances were high that all parties will endorse the agreement.
Ukraine and Russia have been embroiled in a standoff on gas pricing for a few months. In June, Russia cut all gas supplies to Ukraine as the two sides failed to reach an agreement on payments.
The EU is heavily dependent on Russia, from whom it imports a third of its oil needs, 39 percent of gas and 26 percent of solid fuels, according to official EU statistics.
European Commissioner for Energy Gunther Oettinger
BERLIN, September 26, 2014 (RIA Novosti) –
Russia could deliver 5 billion cubic meters of gas to Ukraine at $385 per 1,000 cubic meters under a plan proposed at the trilateral gas talks in Berlin, according to European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger.
"The sums discussed range between $258 and $485 per 1,000 cubic meters," Oettinger said Friday, adding that Russia would supply Ukraine 5 billion cubic meters of gas, following Ukraine's payment of $2 billion to Russia’s Gazprom, at a price of $385 per 1,000 cubic meters.
The statement came amid fears of potential troubles with gas transit via Ukraine, which was switched by Russia’s energy giant Gazprom to a prepayment system over Kiev’s gas debt that is estimated to be in excess of $5 billion.
Gas price has been a stumbling block in the long-running gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine.
Russia has offered Ukraine a gas price of $385 per thousand cubic meters for the period of consideration of the mutual claims of Gazprom and Ukraine’s Naftogaz, but Kiev insists that it is too high and refuses to clear its debt.
Ukraine turmoil result of European-wide security crisis - Lavrov
Russia TV, September 26, 2014 17:07
Edited time: September 27, 2014 12:07
The security crisis in the European Union was not caused by the crisis in Ukraine, but the events in Ukraine reflect the contradictions within the Euro-Atlantic region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters at the UN.
One of the “key components” for the European Union’s security is in Ukraine’s non-NATO member status, Lavrov stressed at a press-conference on the sidelines of the current UN General Assembly session in New York.
“As for NATO, there is a law in Ukraine, which stipulates its non-aligned status. And we believe that this is one of the most important components to ensure European security,” he said and then added that NATO’s expansion is an “absolutely senseless business.”
“It is provocative and is undermining the role of European institutions,” the Russian Foreign Minister concluded.
Russia will continue doing everything possible to continue a dialogue with Kiev and the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics, Sergey Lavrov said.
“There is a dialogue, no one denies it and no matter what Kiev, Donetsk or Lugansk say, they agree on further steps within the framework of the Minsk process. We actively support this, we will do everything that depends on us to continue such negotiations and make them effective,” Russia’s foreign minister told reporters.
Lavrov said it was important to influence both sides of the Ukrainian conflict “in a constructive manner,” rather than “incited to actions that would undermine the peace process."
"In our contacts with our American and European colleagues, we constantly draw their attention to the fact that both sides in Ukraine must be influenced in a constructive manner, not incited to actions that would undermine the peace process,” he said. “One may get an impression that some members of the Ukrainian government and its prime minister, Arseny Yatsenyuk, in particular, do not support the steps leading up to normalization with the southeast of the country.”
When asked if Russia is going to target Ukraine’s economy in retaliation to a free trade zone agreement between Kiev and the EU, Lavrov said Moscow has never considered such a development.
“We have never said that we are going to punish anyone.Nobody has considered or planning to consider any punitive measures against Ukraine, or actions to undermine the Ukrainian economy,” Lavrov said.
New Cold War? ‘Russia didn’t worsen relations with the US’
One of the questions to Lavrov touched upon US-Russia relations and the situation in Ukraine playing a significant role in its deterioration.
Asked what should be done to bring the relationships “back on track”, Lavrov said that Russia did not “worsen the situation” and Moscow will continue keeping communication channels open.
“What to do to improve relations with the US? We did not worsen them, just like we did not worsen then during the “Magnitsky case”, and when Snowden suddenly blew in and Americans felt hurt and decided to postpone Barack Obama’s visit,” Lavrov said. “We did not worsen the relations and are doing everything to keep communication channels open.”
Russia, he stressed, is ready for honest and equitable work with the US as well as other partners.
“When the partners are ready [for a dialogue], they are welcome,” Lavrov said.
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