EU exec urges bloc members to boost gas storage

15:56, 02 July 2009
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European Union countries should fill their gas storage facilities and seek further regional arrangements to ward off possible supply disruptions, the European Commission said on Thursday, accrording to Reuters.

The EU executive, after a meeting with gas experts, said a number of countries in the 27-member bloc were "overwhelmingly dependent on one single gas supplier and one single supply route".

January`s gas crisis, when a payment dispute led to Russia cutting off supplies into Ukraine including those destined for Europe, highlighted the vulnerability of the EU to supply disruptions, the Commission said in a statement.

"The Commission in particular recommended the member states to be better prepared for the coming winter period and to fill their gas storages from all possible available sources," it said.

The experts "stressed the potential of regional cooperation to mitigate the risks identified", the statement said, citing an "uncertain gas storage situation in Ukraine".

The meeting was held after international lenders and the EU reported good progress in talks with Ukraine and Russia on Monday over possible loans to help Kiev pay for Russian gas and avert a new supply crisis


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