Guenther Oettinger, the energy commissioner of EU claimed that he hoped that Russia could reach a transitional solution with Ukraine for gas which having been cut off for three months on the meeting between Russia, Ukrainian government and Ukrainian pro-Russian, held in Berlin this Friday.
However, he also indicated that EU may be forced to expand current sanction list on Russia including Russian gas sector without any fast solutions.
“We do not expect that the worst affairs to happen. Our and my individual standpoints are to avoid sanctioning on any gas industry. We definitely want to reach a casual contract so that we can acquire amount of gas from Russia.” He said.
Because Ukrainian government refused to pay for Russian gas at higher price than that in previous contract, Russia had ever cut off gas supply to Ukraine in June.
As a main gas transporter to transmit gas from Russia to Europe, Ukraine still transports large number of gas to Russian customers. But EU fears that once winter coming, Ukrainian government will be forced to use its position as Russian gas transporter to against Russia.
Guenther Oettinger said, “Gas sector and other energy sectors should not be treated as a political tool. Under current dilemma, crisis between Ukraine and Russian, Europe and Russia, gas should not be used as weapon.”
Russia is undertaking one third of gas supply to EU. Gas is transmitted to EU through gas transmitting pipes
which was built by former Soviet Union or newly-built Nord Stream from Russia to Germany crossing through Baltic Sea.
Half of gas supplied to Europe form Russia needs to cross through Ukraine. A lot of EU members have high dependence on Russia gas. For example, Italy relies on Russian gas supply completely.