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Europe to have problems if Russian gas supplies stopped — EU official

October 16, 2014, 14:51 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
Finland and Estonia will receive at least 60% less gas than they need in the coming winter season if Russian gas supplies are stopped
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Gunther Oettinger

Gunther Oettinger

© EPA/OLIVIER HOSLET

BRUSSELS, October 16. /TASS/. There may be problems with Russian gas supplies to European countries, most of all to Finland and Estonia, in the next six months, Vice President of the European Commission Gunther Oettinger said Thursday.

EU countries’ dependence on Russian gas supplies varies from 18% to 80%, and Finland and Estonia will receive at least 60% less gas than they need in the coming winter season, if Russian gas supplies are completely halted, Oettinger said presenting outlook of the European Commission for a worst case scenario of stopping Russian gas supplies.

The underground storages of Europe are 80% full, and gas reserves in Ukraine stand at 17 billion cubic meters, he said.

Oettinger said on he hopes that Russia, Ukraine and the European Union will manage to agree on Russian national gas supplies to Europe via Ukraine at their trilateral talks next Tuesday in Brussels.

EU Energy Commissioner hopes the trilateral meeting in Brussels will conclude with an agreement on the gas supplies at least for the period until next year’s spring.

The European Union, Oettinger said, must not be a hostage of the Russian-Ukrainian gas spat.

The EU energy commissioner is expected to pay visits on Sunday and Monday to Moscow and Kiev respectively within the frames of preparations for the trilateral talks in Brussels on October 21.

Previous rounds of Russia-Ukraine-EU gas talks

The previous three-party gas talks were held on September 26 in Berlin where Russia, Ukraine and the EU prepared a new package deal on settling the gas dispute, which needed to be approved by the governments of the relevant countries.

Details of the new package deal were announced by EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger.

Infographics Ukraine’s debt burden Ukraine’s debt burden
August 29, IMF Board of Directors discusses the second tranche for Ukraine amounting to $1.4 billion, which was postponed due to instability in south-eastern Ukraine. The country received the first tranche in April 2014. Earlier, April 30, the IMF approved a two-year credit totaling $17 billion for the support of the economic program. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
Under the new deal, Ukraine should repay its $3.1 billion debt to Gazprom by the end of this year for natural gas supplied to the ex-Soviet republic. In turn, Gazprom will supply 5 billion cubic meters of natural gas to Ukraine and offer an option for another 5 billion cubic meters.

Gazprom will supply 5 billion cubic meters to Ukraine at $385 per 1,000 cu m. This price includes a $100 discount and will be effective only for six months.

After Kiev repays $2 billion in debt, Gazprom will supply at least 5 billion cu m to Ukraine and these deliveries will be obligatory for both sides.

Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller earlier said he was doubtful that Ukraine would timely repay its gas debt.

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