Oct 20, 2009
The Energy Commissioner of the EU, Andris Piebalgs, today raised hopes that gas supplies from Russia to western Europe during this year’s heating season might flow without problems.
Conflicts between Russia, whose gas monopoly Gazprom holds the world’s largest natural gas reserves, and Ukraine over prices last year led to a three-week standoff and gas cuts affecting hundreds of thousands of Europeans.
This year disputes might not be escalating, Piebalgs said at a conference.
“There are better preconditions … but there are still risks. The Commission is very vigilant.”
Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz had trouble finding the cash to pay Russia for last month’s gas bill, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko said on 7 October, while one official suggested slashing imports.