21 November, 2013 10:08 ▪
Financial Times: Brussels paves way for Ukraine gas deal with Slovakia
“In terms of content we have found a compromise, we struck a deal . . . which should be officially signed between Ukraine and Slovakia in the next few days,” said a commission spokesperson in Brussels.
EU officials said that they hoped the gas pipeline agreement would help convince Viktor Yanukovich, Ukraine’s president, to fulfil one of the last outstanding preconditions it has set to finalise the Association Agreement with the EU:, the release of Yulia Tymoshenko, the country’s jailed opposition leader.
The gas agreement would give Ukraine more leverage as it seeks to negotiate a reduction in the high price it pays for Russian supplies.
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José Manuel Barroso, the commission president, appealed to Robert Fico, Slovakian prime minister, on the sidelines of a meeting of EU leaders in October and also discussed the matter with Mr Yanukovich last Friday, according to EU officials.
A Ukrainian official said in the commentary to Financial Times it was “very probable” that agreements would be signed in coming days, opening up gas imports through the Slovak corridor.
The official said the new deal could allow Ukraine to eventually import “up to 15 billion cubic metres” of gas a year from European markets at prices lower than Russia’s Gazprom currently charges. Along with energy efficiency efforts, the agreement could allow Ukraine to halve imports of more expensive gas from Russia, the official said.
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- The Economist: increase in the reverse gas flow from Europe to Ukraine is blocked by the energy oligarchs with strong connections to Yanukovych and Gazprom
- Financial Times: Improving Ukraine's energy-wasteful housing stock is one way to get away from Russia's grip
- Ukraine could become a hostage of the German-Russian energy cooperation
- The Financial Times: cleaning up of the gas games at the EU’s eastern border could liberalise the energy equation in Eastern Europe
- Expert on Putin’s gas discount statement: Gazprom is trying to save itself through Firtash’s group, its agent in Ukraine
- Putin talks about help to “Ukrainian friends” with a USD 750mn loan and a discount for gas
- Edward Lucas: the EU has enough strength to respond to Russia’s pressure
- Supreme Court will not revise Tymoshenko’s verdict in the gas case
- Death of the "Nabucco" pipeline scheme destroys EU’s plan to lower dependence on Russian gas