Kremlin welcomes EU's 'positive tune' on energy

Kremlin sees positive developments from EU over energy.
By Daniel J. Graeber Follow @dan_graeber Contact the Author   |  April 21, 2014 at 9:19 AM
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MOSCOW, April 21 (UPI) -- A spokesman for the Kremlin said Monday the Russian government was optimistic about energy security in Eastern Europe following talks with the European Union.

Russian President Vladimir Putin had warned European leaders the region's energy security was at risk because of Ukraine's mounting natural gas debt. European consumers get about a quarter of their gas needs met by Russian energy company Gazprom, though most of that gas runs through the Soviet-era transit network in Ukraine.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin had reassurances from European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso that both sides could work together for the sake of European energy security.

"We have noted the positive tune of the European Commission about dialogue," the spokesman said.

Putin said he'd hold off on making any decisions based on Ukraine's gas debt for now. Gazprom in 2009 cut gas supplies briefly through Ukraine in response to a similar row.

Peskov said he didn't think the Kremlin's stance on Ukraine's gas sector was unreasonable.

Recently, European energy companies RWE and Eni said they'd take measures to ensure the Ukrainian energy sector is adequately supplied with natural gas.

[RIA Novosti]

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