четверг, 15 января 2009 г.

Gas summit to be held Saturday in Moscow - Kremlin spokeswoman

MOSCOW, January 15 (RIA Novosti) - A summit to discuss the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine that have led to gas shortages for Europe will be held in Moscow on Saturday, the Russian president's press secretary said on Thursday.

"Invitations to heads of state and governments of consumer and transit countries are being sent through diplomatic channels," Natalya Timakova said.

EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs and Czech Energy Minister Martin Riman, whose country holds the EU presidency, could take part in the summit, an EU spokesman said on Thursday.

Johannes Laitenberger said Piebalgs and Riman were ready to help Moscow and Kiev find a long-term solution to the stoppage in gas transits to Europe.

Laitenberger repeatedly urged both nations to resume gas supplies to Europe as soon as possible.

Russian energy giant Gazprom complained earlier on Thursday that it had received a third refusal from its Ukrainian partner Naftogaz to transit Russian gas on to Europe over the lack of a technical gas transfer agreement for 2009.

Gazprom wanted to pump 99.2 million cu m of gas on Thursday, including 13.9 million cu m of gas for Moldova, 63.1 million cu m for the Balkans and 22.2 million cu m for Slovakia. Russia insists its gas exit points have been opened for three days now with gas pressure along the export pipeline sufficient to allow for the immediate resumption of gas transits to Europe.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko have said the gas summit should be held in a neutral country.

"Ukraine's president has confirmed his readiness to attend such a summit provided it takes place in a European country," the presidential press service said.

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