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2014-10-11 19:25:00



European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger has asked Ukraine and Russia to take part in another round of talks to try to solve a gas pricing row on Oct. 21 in Berlin, a Commission official said on Thursday.

The European Union's executive hopes to broker a deal to resolve a stand-off that has prompted Moscow to shut off gas deliveries to Ukraine over what it says are more than $5 billion in unpaid bills.

The sides have yet to agree on future prices for Russian gas deliveries, with Moscow and Brussels pushing for $385 per thousand cubic metres during the winter, while Kiev has indicated it wants long-term price guarantees.

"This date and place is of course subject to agreement by all three sides," the official, who asked not to be named, told Reuters of the proposed talks.

Russia's Energy Ministry said it was checking the report. Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan told a news conference he was ready to meet straight away.

"I am ready today - it's a very important question," he said, adding that he may meet Oettinger in Kiev before the three-way talks.

Efforts to reach a deal are complicated by the wider political rift between Kiev and Moscow over Russia's annexation of the Crimea peninsula and the uprising by pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

In New York late on Wednesday, the chief executive of Ukraine's gas grid Naftogaz, Andriy Kobolev, told Reuters he was reluctant to meet when the Russian and Ukrainian positions were still far apart over the EU proposal for an interim agreement.

"Both sides have comments and amendments to the proposal, from what we know the Russian side has some critical comments that we cannot accept," he said.

"We would prefer to meet when at least we have some reconciliation of the comments and positions and at least try to come up with some compromise."

He said the proposed winter price may be realistic but that the proposal had "no such aspect as a summer price, and that means that next summer we are going to have this problem again".

Ukraine, dependent for more than half of its gas needs on Russia, wants to change the conditions of a 2009 contract that locked Kiev into buying a set volume at $485 per 1,000 cubic metres - the highest price paid by any consumer in Europe.

Moscow dropped the price to $268.5 after then-President Viktor Yanukovich turned his back on a trade and association agreement with the European Union last year but reinstated the original price after Yanukovich was ousted in February.

Moscow has halted gas flows to Ukraine three times in the past decade, in 2006, 2009 and since June this year, criticised by some in the West for using energy as a tool of foreign policy to put pressure on its neighbour.

Kobolev said Ukraine needed a commercial deal that cannot be changed in retrospect.




2018, February, 16, 23:15:00


AOG - The Dubai Electricity & Water Authority (DEWA) is to invest around $22bn on new energy projects across the next five years, with the renewables sector accounting for an increasing share of electricity generation, according to CEO Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer.

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TRANSCANADA - TransCanada Corporation (TSX:TRP) (NYSE:TRP) (TransCanada or the Company) announced net income attributable to common shares for fourth quarter 2017 of $861 million or $0.98 per share compared to a net loss of $358 million or $0.43 per share for the same period in 2016. For the year ended December 31, 2017, net income attributable to common shares was $3.0 billion or $3.44 per share compared to net income of $124 million or $0.16 per share in 2016.

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ROSATOM - February 13, 2018, Moscow. – ROSATOM and the Ministry of Scientific Research and Technological Innovations of the Republic of Congo today signed a Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of peaceful uses of atomic energy.

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FRB - Industrial production edged down 0.1 percent in January following four consecutive monthly increases. Manufacturing production was unchanged in January. Mining output fell 1.0 percent, with all of its major component industries recording declines, while the index for utilities moved up 0.6 percent. At 107.2 percent of its 2012 average, total industrial production was 3.7 percent higher in January than it was a year earlier. Capacity utilization for the industrial sector fell 0.2 percentage point in January to 77.5 percent, a rate that is 2.3 percentage points below its long-run (1972–2017) average.

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