EU backs Poland, Russian gas deal

Nov. 5, 2010 at 10:47 AM

BRUSSELS, Nov. 5 (UPI) -- Europe is satisfied with bilateral energy deals between Poland and Russia but there are sticking points, the European energy commissioner said.

"We managed to ensure that the intergovernmental agreement between Russia and Poland was brought into line with EU law," said Guenther Oettinger, the energy commissioner for the European Union, in a statement.

Moscow signed a deal last week with Warsaw that ended a standoff in the energy sector. The deal calls on Russia to increase natural gas deliveries to Poland by 353 million cubic feet per year.

Poland in 2006 kicked off the row in part when it called for an increase in gas tariffs on its leg of the Yamal-Europe pipeline.

Gaz-System, a Polish pipeline operator, will be responsible for finalizing gas transmission contracts and the deal gives Warsaw the right to re-export Russian gas delivered to Poland, the energy commissioner said.

Oettinger added, however, that Polish authorities and his office agreed the deal will need to be complemented by additional measures on capacity, reverse flow services and cost-based tariff setting.

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