EU's Barroso warns Ukraine over gas flows

EU urged Ukrainian President Yushchenko to prevent any delays in payments for Russian gas that might affect gas flows to EU citizens.

EU's Barroso warns Ukraine over gas flows

The European Union urged Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko on Thursday to prevent any delays in payments for Russian gas that might affect gas flows to EU citizens.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso told Yushchenko by telephone it was essential that there be no blockages to Ukrainian payments for gas supplies from Russia, a Commission spokesman told Reuters.

"European citizens must not be subject to further disruptions of gas supplies from Russia through Ukraine," the spokesman added.

The spokesman said Barroso had expressed concern that the International Monetary Fund's programme for financial support to Ukraine was not on track and said this could adversely affect Ukraine's economic stability.

European leaders have started to become nervous about winter gas supplies since Moscow said last week it feared Kiev may fall behind on payments as the economic crisis empties state coffers.

The EU fears a repeat of January's three-week gas supply cuts, caused by a pricing dispute between Kiev and Moscow.

Ukraine has been regularly paying off its gas bills since January, and Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan said on Wednesday that state energy firm Naftogaz would make this month's payment before the deadline on Friday.

The Russian warning coincided with the start of a presidential election campaign in Ukraine. Analysts said Moscow wanted to pressure Ukraine to choose a relatively pro-Russian leader while avoiding a gas row with Kiev ahead of the vote.

Reuters

Güncelleme Tarihi: 06 Kasım 2009, 00:25
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