EU to join weekend summit between Russia, Ukraine

13:25, 16 January 2009
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EU monitors...

The European Union (EU) is to join a weekend summit between Russia and Ukraine, in a bid to end a bitter dispute blocking gas supplies to Europe, according to Channel NewsAsia.

The EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Czech Trade and Industry Minister Martin Riman - whose country holds the rotating EU presidency - are to join the talks in Moscow.

EU monitors on the ground said no gas was flowing through Ukraine`s transit pipelines.

In Brussels, EU officials insisted talks between Russia and Ukraine was not an excuse to delay pumping gas to Europe.

"We are interested in solutions, not in blame games, so what is long overdue is a solution, and what is overdue are measures that go in the direction that make a solution more likely. And that`s what we`ve been saying throughout and I am not going to say anything different at this point in time,” said a spokesman of the EU, Johannes Laitenberger.

The European Commission urged legal action by European companies against both Russia and Ukraine.

The EU insists it will be a neutral facilitator at the Russia-Ukraine talks, and refuses to name or blame either side.

However, EU officials are demanding both Moscow and Kiev go into the talks focused on finding a lasting solution to the dispute, which has left hundreds of thousands of Europeans without heating for nearly two weeks, in the depths of winter.

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