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EU welcomes solution of gas dispute between Russia, Ukraine
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09:15, February 14, 2008

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The European Union (EU) felt relieved on Wednesday after Russia and Ukraine resolved a recent gas debt dispute, which could have caused supply disruption to Europe which happened two years ago.

EU Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs wasted no time in welcoming the agreement reached in Moscow between Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Russian leader Vladimir Putin on Tuesday.

"I welcome the agreement between Russia and Ukraine today for the solution of their bilateral gas dispute. In the framework of our bilateral energy dialogues, I will shortly be in contact with our Ukrainian and Russian counterparts to find out further details of the agreement," Piebalgs said.

The deal avoided a threatened cutoff in gas supplies. Russian gas giant Gazprom had warned it would cut a quarter of its gas supply to Ukraine on Tuesday if Kiev did not settle a 1.5-billion-U.S.-dollar debt for earlier supplies.

The debt dispute had sent jitters through customers in Europe, who feared it could escalate into a repetition of a pricing row in2006 that led to supply disruptions across Europe after Gazprom cut all gas supplies to Ukraine, a major transit route.

Russia is a major gas supplier to Europe and most of its exports pass through Ukraine.

Source: Xinhua

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