Naftogaz Ukrainy's idea of allowing EU importers to buy Russian gas at the Ukraine-Russia border, before it transits Ukraine, requires a review of existing transit contracts, European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said in a statement received by Interfax.
The issue cannot be resolved quickly and will have to be discussed in trilateral talks between the European Commission, Russia and Ukraine. The sides have been working to organize such a meeting since the beginning of autumn. The situation currently is having no effect on gas transit, Oettinger said.
Oettinger added that on Tuesday morning he had discussed a bill with Ukraine concerning sanctions against Russia that could involve banning the transit of energy resources. He said the commission was certain Ukraine would remain a reliable transit country.
The Verkhovna Rada passed in the first reading by 243 votes on Tuesday a government bill on international sanctions for the support to and financing of terrorism in Ukraine. As reported, the Ukrainian government initiated sanctions against 172 individuals and 65 legal entities of Russia and other countries for the support and financing of terrorism in Ukraine. The bill foresees the possibility of introducing 29 types of sanctions against businesses and individuals financing terrorism and supporting the occupation of Crimea.
When speaking at a press briefing after a cabinet session in Kyiv on Friday, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said that such sanctions include asset freezes, bans on running businesses on the territory of Ukraine, online broadcasts in the country, privatization, the use of licenses, as well as transit across its territory.
Ukraine's national oil and gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy offered direct contracts to purchasers of Russian gas for gas transit through Ukraine if sanctions are placed against Gazprom.
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