Press Advisories

13. 1. 2009 10:58

EU Ministers Appreciate Steps Taken by Czech Presidency to Resume Gas Supplies

Due to the situation caused by the interruption of gas supplies from Russia via Ukraine, an extraordinary meeting of the Energy Council took place yesterday in Brussels under the Presidency of the Czech Minister of Industry and Trade.

The Council evaluated the situation of gas supplies in the Member States concerned and appreciated domestic and solidarity measures which have helped to mitigate the impact on European citizens and national economies. The Council urged both parties to resume gas supplies to the EU immediately. Cutting off deliveries to the EU has caused great economic harm and suffering to citizens of the EU and its neighbouring countries.

'Situation in affected Member States is serious. The Council has called for an immediate resumption of gas supplies to the EU through Ukraine. Resuming gas supplies will lead to restoring the credibility of both parties,’ stated Czech Industry and Trade Minister Martin Říman after the meeting of the Council.

The Council also appreciated the establishment of the technical monitoring group and will follow up on the information provided by the observers 'There should be no obstacles now to a prompt resumption of gas supplies to the EU. The deliveries of natural gas should be restored by Tuesday 08:00 CET,’ said the minister.

Furthermore, the Council agreed on the importance of reinforcing energy policy in Member States and at Community level, so that the EU is able to cope with any possible future supply interruptions. In this respect, the Council agreed on the necessity to develop and strengthen medium and long-term measures to reinforce the energy security of the EU. These measures should be based on five priority axes - transparency of gas flows, demand and storage; solidarity arrangements; strengthening interconnections between Member States; and further diversification of transport routes and sources.

The Council invited the European Commission to identify, together with the most affected Member States, the economic and social consequences resulting from the crisis and to map out relevant measures, including state aid rules, to assist these Member States.

The Council will review the situation and the progress achieved and will decide on further concrete medium and long-term measures envisaged in the 2nd Strategic Energy Review as well as in the Council Conclusions. A progress report from the Commission will be presented at the next Council meeting in February, in order for the Spring European Council to agree on the necessary steps to address energy security.

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