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EU Sour About Gas Crisis

  • January 26th, 2009
  • Posted by EUEditor

ukraine-gas2-europarl.jpgThe European Union has reiterated its dissatisfaction with the interruption of gas supplies this Winter because of the disputes between Russia and the Ukraine … and says it is looking for additional suppliers.

A statement from the Czech Presidency of the EU describes the resumption of gas supplies last week (see EUAustralia, 21.1.09) as welcome, but repeats earlier comments that the Union of countries will need to see if it can supplement its supply from other areas, e.g. North Africa.

It says:

“We expect Russia and Ukraine to honour their commitments so that full flow of natural gas is not disrupted again.

“The resumption of deliveries is a result of a sustained political pressure of the Czech Presidency and the European Commission, who acted with full support of EU Member States.

“It was reached thanks to a clear and united position of the European Union, which has spoken with one voice throughout the dispute.

“However, this bilateral dispute has harmed the confidence placed into the two countries. To rebuild European consumers’ confidence is now a challenge for both Russia and Ukraine.

“Due to the dispute, situation in many Member States and candidate countries reached a critical stage.

“The European Union managed to face the crisis out only thanks to mutual solidarity and a flexible reaction of the market and of the industry.

“The Union needs, however, to support all measures that would protect EU citizens from becoming hostages of future disputes between third countries.

“Energy security is one of the key priorities of the Czech EU Presidency. It has now become clear that the EU’s main tasks are:

• enhancing transparency of gas flows, demand and storage,

• enhancing solidarity arrangements among Member States,

• improving interconnection of EU energy networks,

• increasing diversification of energy sources and transit routes.”

Reference:

European Council (Presidency), Czech Presidency welcomes resumption of Russian gas deliveries through Ukraine, 20.1.09. www.europe.eu/… (26.1.09)

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