there should be no Ukraine gas transit problems this winter
EU energy chief says
The EU`s energy commissioner sees no problems for this winter with the Ukraine gas transport route to Europe, he said Wednesday, according to AP.
"It`s completely clear to me that this year we will have no difficulty with gas transit towards the European markets," Andris Piebalgs told reporters after a meeting with Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Boiko.
Ukraine will be a "very reliable transit country" in the future, he said.
Europe`s growing dependence on imported natural gas came into the spotlight this year when Russia temporarily shut off the EU`s gas supply on New Year`s Day in a dispute with neighboring Ukraine.
Kiev later admitted skimming off extra gas from the Russia-EU pipeline to cope with surging demand during a sudden cold snap.
Most EU nations remain heavily dependent on natural gas imports from Russia, sourcing a quarter of its gas from the country. The dispute shocked the EU into reviewing its energy policy and it plans to seek a wider range of routes and suppliers while also aiming to cut its growing consumption and develop more home-based and renewable energy sources.
Piebalgs said Ukraine had provided very transparent and detailed information in recent months on its gas storage and its future plans for the pipeline. Cooperation on other energy issues nuclear safety, climate change and energy efficiency had made "quite remarkable progress" in recent months, he said.