Russian gas sector should not be sanctioned – EU energy chief
Russian gas sector should not be subjected to EU sanctions despite the situation in Ukraine, EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said Thursday.
"Gas is not a suitable sector for sanctions, as in this case everyone will lose - Russia, Ukraine and the European Union," RIA Novosti cites Oettinger as saying.
EU Energy Commissioner insisted on a quick resolution of the gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine.
"We need a solution that prevents an escalation between Ukraine and Russia," he told German broadcaster ARD. "We need Ukraine as a transit country. Ukraine needs gas in winter. In a long and cold winter, Ukraine will not have enough stored gas of its own."
He also acknowledged that in case Ukraine is left without gas supplies in winter it may steal Russian transit gas on its way to the West.
According to Oettinger by the end of October the European Union should develop a concept that provides each bloc member with warm homes, financing of infrastructure and maintenance of industry for the period from November to March.
On Friday, Oettinger is expected to meet with Russian Energy Minister Aleksander Novak to discuss future Russian gas deliveries to Europe.
The agenda includes talks about safe transit of Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine, legal and technical aspects of the South Stream project, Gazprom’s access to the full capacity of the OPAL pipeline and issues related to the continuation of the Russia-EU Energy Dialogue, the Russian Energy Ministry said in a statement Monday.