EU should ensure Ukraine's gas supply: Oettinger

26th August 2014, Comments 0 comments

Europe should ensure Ukraine's gas supply if Russia cuts off deliveries, EU energy commissioner Guenther Oettinger said in a newspaper interview Tuesday ahead of key talks on the raging crisis.

"In a case of emergency, it must be possible to divert gas from EU countries to Ukraine," Oettinger told the mass-circulation daily Bild.

"The storage tanks are currently around half full. But they must be completely full by the time winter comes," the commissioner said.

Oettinger was confident that Russian President Vladimir Putin "will not instrumentalise energy supplies" in the crisis.

The EU commissioner will be among key European officials to attend crisis ta, including EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton to attend key talks on the crisis, alongside Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko.

Oettinger told Bild that the EU Commission is currently preparing a paper for an EU summit in October, analysing the consequences of a possible complete disruption of Russian gas supplies.

"Currently, there are six EU members who are 100-percent dependent on Russia, with four of them getting their gas directly from there without transit through Ukraine," the commissioner said.

"The biggest danger, as I see it, would be if the transit could no longer be guaranteed. This could be for a number of reasons, such as attacks. But both Bulgaria and Slovakia would then be completely cut off from supplies," Oettinger said.

© 2014 AFP

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