EU wants same price for Russian gas for all its members: Oettinger

Günther Oettinger, Mann mit Energien. Foto: EC

EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger said today (2 May) that the EU wants a uniform price for Russian gas for all its member states, adding Europe's common gas infrastructure should include Ukraine, Georgia and the western Balkans.

Oettinger was speaking after a meeting with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who promotes an idea of an EU energy union and joint purchase of Russian gas, ahead of talks with Russia and Ukraine on the security of Russian gas deliveries to Europe.

"We want a uniform gas price in the European common market," Oettinger said at the joint news conference with Tusk.

"The game of 'divide et impera' (divide and rule), or a game of this type proposed by Moscow cannot be and will not be accepted by EU member states," Oettinger said.

Tusk has recently appealed on his fellow EU leaders to create an energy union to secure the Union’s its gas supply [read more].

Currently, EU member states buy Russian gas on the basis of bilateral contracts with Moscow, and pay different prices. Common purchases would improve EU's negotiating power and cut the price.

"We have very big differences in terms of gas prices. The higher the share of Russian gas in purchases and the bigger monopoly Russia has in supplies, the higher the prices are," Oettinger said.

The EU has made progress in improving its energy security since gas crises in 2006 and 2009, when rows over unpaid bills between Kiev and Moscow led to the disruption of gas exports to western Europe. But so far, EU reliance on imported oil and gas, especially from Russia, has been rising, not falling.

Oettinger also said that Europe should have pan-European grids for natural gas and electricity, including more power links between countries and should increase the diversification of its energy imports.

"The infrastructure with regard to gas and energy transit should have a pan-European character and should also include Ukraine, Georgia and Western Balkans," Oettinger said. "We want to prove our solidarity with Ukraine."

Ukraine fully supports the idea of introducing a unified price for natural gas in the European Union, its Energy Minister Yuri Prodan told reporters in Warsaw ahead of a meeting with his Russian counterpart and Oettinger.

Oettinger is due to meet with Russian energy minister Alexander Novak today in Warsaw [read more]. 



bob's picture

Finally, something that's going to be beneficial for the entire EU. Because nowadays the rich negotiate better conditions then the poor ones and so they become more rich while the poor more poorer. And when the poor people use their rights to go to the rich countries, well parties like UKIP(and their politics) is what they meet. Now at least the poor will have equal opportunities in their own countries. I understand the fears of UKIP but without the political aid in such unfair trade negotiations the poorer has no chance of developing their own economy and therefore the only chance of realization is in UK, Germany, France....

Joe Thorpe's picture

I don't know why you mention the UK or UKIP to justify your complaint about gas prices, I think you will find we aren't connected to any gas pipes from Russia. The fact that countries are unable to negotiate deals is why they jump on the EU subsidy bandwagon & look others to do their bidding. If energy is a pet project of eastern countries they should put their hat into the ring for EU energy commissioner just a single price for everyone & no competition will lead to a growth in energy prices & a further lack of competitiveness & you will see ever more jobs lost to emerging economies. The drum you should be banging is access to other markets so regions arent slaves to one supplier.

bob's picture

I haven't said that UK or UKIP are responsible for prices! And by the way the prices of the unreferiend oil, coming to Bulgaria were lower then the ones in EU. One of the directives were that noone should have such an advantage. The reason why we were with lower fuel prices was that Lukoil's administrative chief on the Balkans is bulgarian. Why should fuel be put under extra control and gaz not? It seems that europeans dopn't want anyone else to have an chance of living because they even don't like when we move to find better life, that's what I call NAZISM!

Gerry's picture

This is another one of those things that just drags on with weak decisions and uncommitted politicians resulting in worsening situations and lost opportunities. The time to act on this is now, an energy union is a necessary and good thing, and can be established on the rise of current events and developments between Russia and the EU.