Home News Swiss authorities discuss gas crisis with Ukraine

Swiss authorities discuss gas crisis with Ukraine

Published on 08/01/2009

GENEVA – Swiss authorities met a Ukrainian delegation this week to take stock of gas imports and the dispute between Russia and Ukraine that has cut Russian supplies to Europe, a Swiss official said on Thursday.

"There was a meeting Tuesday between a Ukrainian and a Swiss delegation about the gas crisis," a spokesman for the Federal Energy Office said.

He declined to give more details on the discussions.

The spokesman said there was no problem with natural gas supplies to Switzerland and several departments concerned were studying their situation.

Switzerland does not have any direct delivery contract with Russian suppliers, but Russian gas delivered through western suppliers accounts for 20 percent of Swiss imports, according to industry data.

Gas imports are carrying on "normally", a spokesman for the Swiss industry association Swissgas said. He said the principal suppliers – mainly German – were ensuring uninterrupted supplies.

European Union officials were holding talks with Russian and Ukrainian gas executives on Thursday to iron out details of a monitoring arrangement to help end the dispute.

Russia cut off all pipeline supplies to Ukraine, even those intended for Europe, on Wednesday. Moscow claims Ukraine has been siphoning off gas meant for Europe.

Russia is the world’s biggest natural gas producer and provides about one-quarter of the gas used in the European Union, including Germany. Some 80 percent of those imports pass though Ukraine.

[AFP / Expatica]