EU eyes Russia-Ukraine gas situation 'very closely'

15:48, 26 February 2009
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Officials in Brussels said

The European Union is following very closely reports of a new gas row between Russia and Ukraine, officials in Brussels said Thursday, two months after an earlier dispute crippled gas supplies to the bloc, DPA reported. The EU`s executive, the European Commission, is "following very closely the situation in bilateral commercial relations between Ukraine and Russia, because this could have an impact on supplies to the EU," commission spokesman Ferran Tarradellas said.

Nonetheless, "that does not imply that we are going to intervene," he stressed.

Earlier on Thursday, Russian daily Kommersant reported that the country`s gas monopoly, Gazprom, was considering cutting off gas supplies to Ukraine in a row over alleged debts.

That follows an earlier dispute in January which saw Gazprom shut off all gas supplies to Ukraine, and through it to Europe, in a move which sparked widespread shortages in the EU.

Under the EU`s current rules, the bloc can only step in to help member states cope with gas cut-offs once industries and national governments have taken their own measures.

The commission is currently working on a revised version of the rules aimed at boosting solidarity and crisis management.

dpa via Earth Times

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