Putin unhappy with EU role in solving Ukraine gas debt problem

May 16, 2014

Russia is disappointed by the absence of EU specific proposals on solving the Ukraine gas debt problem and expects European countries to play a more active role in this process, President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, May 15, ITAR-TASS has reported.

In a special address to European leaders, Putin said that Russia’s decision to demand advance payments for natural gas deliveries to Ukraine was a forced measure.

“In early April, we came up with a proposal to hold immediate consultations with the aim of elaborating coordinated actions to stabilize the Ukrainian economy and ensure stable Russian gas deliveries and transit in compliance with contract terms,” Putin said in his letter.

Since then, Russia has held consultations with some non-EU countries in Moscow, at which “our partners fully shared our concerns over Ukraine’s payments for gas delivered by Russia and the risks of insufficient amounts of gas pumped into Ukraine’s underground storage facilities (to ensure uninterrupted gas transit to Europe),” Putin said.

“As for EU member countries, only one meeting was held In Warsaw during this period with a delegation led by EU Energy Commissioner (Gunther) Oettinger with the participation of Ukrainian representative (Energy Minister Yuriy) Prodan,” Putin said.

“Unfortunately, we have to state that we have not received any specific proposals from our partners on stabilizing the situation with the fulfillment of contractual obligations by the Ukrainian buyer and ensuring reliable gas transit,” Putin said.

Copyright: ITAR-TASS, 2014