Further Progress In Ukraine-Russia Gas Row - EU

Posted By Joseph R. Fonseca
Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Europe's Energy Commissioner said on Monday Ukraine and Russia had made further progress in a dispute over gas prices and his proposal that Ukraine to pay $2 billion of back debt by Thursday could pave the way for further talks on Friday.

Speaking after three-way talks with Russia's and Ukraine's energy ministers, Guenther Oettinger said the two governments would study his proposal that Ukraine pay Russia $2 billion by Thursday and a further $500 million by June 7.

Oettinger, acting as a mediator in the capital of his home country Germany, said if the governments agreed to the deal, further talks about the gas price from April could then be held from Friday.

"We've achieved progress but we didn't achieve a breakthrough," Oettinger told reporters at a news conference in Berlin. "I believe an agreement is possible."

But Ukraine's Energy Minister Yuri Prodan, speaking after Oettinger and Russia's Energy Minister Alexander Novak had briefed reporters and left, said there was no final an agreement and he would not confirm that Ukraine agreed to pay $2 billion on Thursday. He said the two sides have until Wednesday night to consider it.

"The payment is not in question," Prodan added. "Ukraine will pay its debts and obligations.... We would like to have a package price." He said both sides have until Wednesday to draft their position on the EU's proposal.

Russia supplies around a third of Europe's gas demand and about half of its gas imports from Russia flow through Ukraine.

Ukraine wants to change the conditions of a 2009 contract that locked Kiev into buying a set volume of gas, whether it needs it or not, at $485 per 1,000 cubic metres - the highest price paid by any client in Europe.

Moscow dropped the price to $268.50 after then-President Viktor Yanukovich turned his back on a trade and association agreement with the European Union last year, but reinstated the original price after he was ousted in February.

Ukraine insists on a price of $268.50 per 1,000 cubic meters while Russia stands by its demand for $485. Oettinger is trying to get the two sides to agree in the middle. The average gas price paid by European customers to Gazprom lies around $370.

Novak said there had been progress on Monday in Berlin.

"We're ready to continue the talks for setting future prices on Friday after we get paid," Novak said, repeating Oettinger's words that they had reached a preliminary deal in which Ukraine will pay $2 billion on Thursday and $500 million by June 7.

"The Russian side wants to have negotiations about prices only once the debts are paid," he added.

Oettinger, who is hoping to burnish his reputation as a crisis manager in his home country, said the European Commission was working to help enable Ukraine to pay its back debt to Russia. "We're helping make that possible," he said.

(Additional reporting by Markus Wacket; writing by Erik Kirschbaum, editing by David Evans)

Maritime Reporter September 2014 Digital Edition
FREE Maritime Reporter Subscription
Latest Maritime News    rss feeds

Finance

Maduro Says Venezuela's 2015 Budget to Put Oil at $60

Venezuela's 2015 budget will be based on a target oil price of $60 dollars per barrel, President Nicolas Maduro said on Friday night, but he repeated expectations that prices will recover.

No Merger of Yara & CF Industrie

Yara International ASA and CF Industries have terminated their discussions regarding a potential merger of equals transaction. "This has been a constructive process,

Hurricane Ana Heads towards Hawaii

Tropical Storm Ana strengthened into a hurricane on Friday and was moving in the direction of Hawaii but was not expected to make a direct hit on the islands, the U.

Energy

GAO: Ending Crude Export Ban Could Ease 'Price at the Pump'

As the energy profile of the U.S. continues to improve and evolve daily, fresh debate in favor of exporting oil and gas products -- which would have a significant impact on the U.

Autonomous Technology for Offshore Wind Farm

ASV Ltd in association with Planet Ocean Ltd, have received funding from the GROW:OffshoreWind initiative to investigate how the use of Autonomous Surface Vehicles

BHP Bullish on Caval Ridge's Prospects

Yesterday BHP Billiton Coal President, Dean Dalla Valle, was joined by the Hon. Tony Abbott MP, Prime Minister of Australia, and joint venture partner Mitsubishi in a ceremony to open the US$3.

News

Cruise Ship Returns to Texas after Ebola Concern

The Carnival Magic cruise ship was en route back to the United States on Saturday with a passenger from Texas who might have handled specimens of the first Ebola

MEPC Approves Draft Polar Code

Draft Polar Code approved by IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee A key step on the way to a mandatory Polar Code for ships operating in Arctic and

NMRA Awards Scholarship to Yacht Design Students

The National Marine Representatives Association (NMRA) awarded two scholarships to students pursuing careers in the field. Noah Luff of Ventura, California is one

Consulting

Vice Presidents Rejig at Caterpillar Inc

Following the previous announcement regarding two group presidents’ retirements and new responsibilities for another group president, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT)

Northrop Grumman Sponsors Maritime RobotX Challenge

Northrop Grumman Corporation is expanding its support for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education across the globe by sponsoring the Maritime RobotX Challenge in Singapore, Oct.

COWI NA Merges its Marine Companies

Ben C. Gerwick, Inc. and Ocean and Coastal Consultants, Inc. merger creates new player in the North American marine engineering market COWI North America, Inc.

 
 
Maritime Contracts Maritime Standards Naval Architecture Navigation Offshore Oil Pod Propulsion Ship Simulators Shipbuilding / Vessel Construction Sonar Winch
rss | archive | history | articles | privacy | terms and conditions | contributors | top maritime news | about us | copyright | maritime magazines
maritime security news | shipbuilding news | maritime industry | shipping news | maritime reporting | workboats news | ship design | maritime business

Time taken: 0.2402 sec (4 req/sec)