MOSCOW, March 23 /TASS/. The European Union does not have money in the budget to provide Ukraine’s energy security, Vladimir Chizhov, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the European Union, said on Monday.
"I will dare to assume that there is no money in the EU budget for these purposes," Chizhov said adding he had arrived at the conclusion after studying the EU budget.
"Under these circumstances, the EU Council can only lobby the provision of these funds by some other party, including the IMF or other sources," Chizhov told a news conference.
"The Russia-Ukraine-EU trilateral talks have certainly become possible only due to the situation that has unfolded and the active stance of the EU Commission whose main aim is to ensure uninterrupted gas transit via the territory of Ukraine. For more than 40 years, the pipeline’s geography has been such that considerable amounts of gas have to be transported via Ukraine," the Russian diplomat said adding that 2006 and 2009 had seen huge disruptions of transit gas supplies.
"Last year, gas was supplied from Ukraine’s underground storage reservoirs in much huger amounts than it is technologically possible. That is the only reason why no disruption took place last year. But very little gas has been left in these storage reservoirs by now," Chekhov stressed.
Under these circumstances, Naftogas Ukrainy is purchasing the minimum amount of fuel - for no more than four days. "It is necessary to start pumping gas for the winter. That is why any talk about the "summer package" is inappropriate. But Ukraine is refusing to do that possibly in hope of a more favorable price. But one should not be too carried away by this game," Chizhov concluded.