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Barroso to Putin: Gazprom responsible for steady transit to Europe

Published time: May 21, 2014 13:49
European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (Reuters/Yves Herman)

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso (Reuters/Yves Herman)

Gazprom should stick to existing contracts with Europe and gas supplies shouldn’t be interrupted, EC President Jose Barroso wrote in a letter to President Putin. It comes at a time when the escalating conflict in Ukraine threatens to disrupt gas tarnsit.

“It … continues to be Gazprom’s responsibility to ensure the deliveries of the required volumes as agreed in the supply contracts with European companies,” European Commission President wrote in a letter published Wednesday.

“I also recall that the European Union expects the Russian Federation to activate the early warning system well in advance if ever the need arises,” Barrosso added.

Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller warned on May 12 that if Kiev failed to pay its gas bill by June 2, exports to Ukraine would come to a halt the next day. Such a scenario naturally worries Brussels, as 50 percent of Europe’s gas supplies enter the continent via Ukraine from Russian supply lines.

Barroso’s letter is in response to one sent by Putin last week that said Gazprom, starting in June, would only deliver gas to Ukraine if paid in advance.

"Given the circumstances, the Russian company has issued an advance invoice for gas deliveries to Ukraine, which is completely in accordance with the contract, and after June 1 gas deliveries will be limited to the amount prepaid by the Ukrainian company," Putin said in the letter.

The Russian leader also said that Ukraine's gas debt to Russia continues to grow, and now stands at $3.5 billion.

Barroso mentioned the ongoing trilateral talks between Brussels, Kiev and Moscow that are centered on the “issue of the price for gas supplies to Ukraine,” as well as establishing “the willingness of the Government of Ukraine to pay the agreed upon arrears” owed to Russia.

The Commission President described it as “imperative” that the parties agree on a future price for gas supplies that “reflects market conditions.”

Barroso revealed in his letter that the EU and “other international donors” have already given “significant support” to Ukraine and will continue to “remain committed.”

The letter was posted on the European Commission’s website the same day Moscow was celebrating a $400 billion dollar gas deal with China that will provide energy supplies to the world’s economic powerhouse for the next 30 years.

Comments (63)


Brian Hall 25.05.2014 11:03

Thank god Barrosa is soon, his tenure in Europe has seen only strife. He is trying to put the onus on Russia to be a reliable partner while he has done everything possible to sabotage the relationship,he have used every possible weapon to disrupt the flow of gas, from P. Riot and the gay agenda to war in Ukraine, Syria.
With new markets opening in Asia, it is to be hoped that the countries that cause this trouble will have to pay, it does not have to be called sanctions or counter sanctions, but Russia has to let it's competitors know that all moves to hurt Russian commerce is a threat to Russia's economic security


HenryHall 24.05.2014 21:16

EU+US created this unholy mess in Ukraine, so now it is theirs to fix. If they can't prove that transit gas is not being frauded then let them get their redress from Ukraine or take the distinctly unpleasant consequences of prepayment prices.

The burden is not on Russia to prove fraud, it lies with Ukraine, Hungary, etc to prove that gas fraud is not happening.


Jean-Claude Meslin 24.05.2014 13:10

Barroso is the N°1 "putain" and hypocritical person serving America. Most of all, the big multi-national firms like Texaco, Exxon-Mobyl, Total (whose over 80% of the stock are held by Americans). His best wish will be the shut-down by Russia of oil and gas deliveries to Europe. This will allow those companies to invade Europe a little more to extract her huge reserves of schist gas. It may even let Gazprom, having a little part of that energy-"cake&qu ot; (Wolfs don't kill one an other)...

View all comments (63)
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