EU Gas Security Group Meets After Russia Cut Supplies to Ukraine

Natural-gas security authorities from European Union nations, representatives of the industry and market regulators are set today to debate deliveries to the region following a cut in Russian supplies to Ukraine.

“The Gas Coordination Group is meeting in Brussels to discuss security of gas supply,” EU energy spokeswoman Sabine Berger said by phone today.

The 28-nation EU is dependent on Russian gas piped through Ukraine for about 15 percent of its demand. EU-brokered talks to settle a pricing dispute between the two nations ended without a deal on June 16, with Russian state-run gas exporter OAO Gazprom halting deliveries of the fuel to Ukraine several hours later, citing $4.5 billion debt for past deliveries.

Gazprom is providing enough gas to Ukraine’s pipeline system to meet demand from European customers and not the country’s needs, according to Ukrainian state-run gas company NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy.

Russian transit to Europe via Ukrainian pipelines is proceeding normally, in line with contract volumes, a Gazprom spokesman said today by phone, asking not to be identified under company policy.

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on June 18 that he is seeking further trilateral talks to find a solution in the pricing dispute beetwen Russia and Ukraine, adding that the next round could take place in three weeks. Oettinger is scheduled to meet Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan on June 24 in Brussels.

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