EU presidency and EC call for resumption of gas supplies to Europe

06-01-2009

The Czech EU presidency and the European Commission have called for an immediate resumption of Russian natural gas supplies to Europe, following disruptions caused by a pricing and payment row between Russia and Ukraine. In a joint statement they said the current state of affairs was “completely unacceptable” and that the EU would intensify dialogue with both sides in an effort to get the dispute resolved swiftly. The Czech prime minister, Mirek Topolánek, said a three-way summit between the EU, Russia and Ukraine might prove necessary if the crisis was not resolved soon.

Several EU states have been affected by the disruptions, with the Czech Republic and Austria the hardest hit. Natural gas deliveries to the Czech Republic are expected to drop by as much as 75 percent on Tuesday, according to the country’s biggest supplier RWE Transgas. European energy firms receive about a fifth of their gas via pipelines leading through Ukraine.