The European Union urged Russia on Wednesday not to cut gas flows to Ukraine and to agree on a market-based gas price.
The plea comes after Russian state-controlled gas giant Gazprom threatened Ukraine with halting gas supplies by June, unless it pays its debts to the company.
In a letter addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin, Commission President José Manuel Barroso said that it is “imperative” that gas flows are not interrupted, as long as talks between the EU, Russia and Ukraine are ongoing.
A cut in gas flows for Ukraine could potentially affect EU countries, as Ukraine is the main transit route to deliver gas supplies to the West.
Barroso said that it is Gazprom’s responsibility to ensure gas delivery to EU countries.
Russia provides Europe with roughly one third of its gas imports, over half of which flowed via Ukraine last year.
Russia also delivers around half of Ukraine’s domestic gas needs.