Ukraine looks to Europe for gas as Russia ups pressure

by
April 11, 2014

KIEV | Ukraine said on Friday it would turn to Europe for gas and won a promise of help from Brussels after Russia warned it could cut supplies over Kiev’s refusal to pay Moscow’s “political, uneconomic price” for supplies.

Presenting a united front a day after President Vladimir Putin wrote to the European Union warning that its supplies could be disrupted if Ukraine failed to cover its bills, European officials said they had little to fear and would help Ukraine pay.

With Russia increasing the pressure on Ukraine’s faltering economy, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan told parliament the EU would stand in solidarity with Kiev if Russia reduced supplies, making sure Moscow could not increase flows through alternative pipelines to bypass its neighbour.

“Ukraine cannot pay such a political, uneconomic price, so now we are negotiating with the European Union about reverse deliveries into Ukraine,” Prodan said.

“We will make gas purchases from reverse flows urgently. On the conditions offered by European gas companies. We plan that they will be Germany’s RWE and a French gas company.”

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