EU, Russia fail to reach agreement at summit

Doris Leblond
OGJ Correspondent

PARIS, May 27 -- The recent European Union-Russia summit in the Siberian city of Khabarovsk failed to patch up relations soured by the 2008 war with Georgia and the January gas dispute with Ukraine that left many European countries without Russian gas in bitterly cold weather.

EU participants tried to put a brave face on the failed negotiations by saying the discussions were "useful." But relations seem to have worsened as Russia President Dimitry Medvedev grew increasingly uncooperative as he blamed Ukraine—the transit country for most of Russia's gas to Europe—as solely responsible for the supply interruption.

At the closing press conference he questioned whether Ukraine could pay for Russian gas this year. It was a pricing dispute with Ukraine that caused Russia to interrupt gas exports to Europe in January. Medvedev insisted it is up to the EU to assume part of the Ukraine financing, as he expressed reluctance to "extend loans to Ukraine."

He said Russia cannot guarantee gas supplies to the EU will not be cut next year, although EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso asked Russia and Ukraine to do everything in their power to prevent another crisis.

Medvedev also said Russia has no intention of adopting the European energy charter, signed in 1994 by 51 countries including Russia, which has never ratified it. He said the charter is now "outdated." Russia's suggestion of a revised charter was rejected by Energy Commissioner Andris Piebalgs.

The old charter should prevail, insisted EU officials, until a wide-ranging energy partnership and cooperation agreement, which expired in December 2007, is signed with Moscow. At the summit there was no agreement on the early warning mechanism the EU wants to warn of any threat to gas supplies.

One possible cause of the bickering is the proposed Eastern partnership the EU is offering Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine in the form of free trade agreements and easier visa rules as well as political reform. Medvedev views such a partnership as a means of encircling Russia, despite the EU's denials of such an intention.

Whatever the reasons, Russia and the EU have moved away from the compromise necessary for their mutual dependence: Russia provides more than 25% of gas consumed by the EU, which in turn is Russia's most profitable gas market.

Related Articles

Post-sanctions Iran initially won’t shake markets up, executive says

07/22/2015 Iran’s resumption of oil and gas exports, once sanctions are lifted under the recently negotiated nuclear limits agreement, probably won’t flood gl...

UAE easing gasoline, diesel price controls

07/22/2015

The United Arab Emirates is moving prices of gasoline and diesel toward deregulation effective Aug. 1.

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil prices gain on expected weekly supply decline

07/22/2015 Light, sweet crude oil prices settled modestly above $50/bbl on the New York market on July 21, gaining support from a stronger dollar and from exp...

BLM extends comment period for Colorado oil, gas project’s EA

07/21/2015 The US Bureau of Land Management has extended the comment period for a preliminary environmental assessment (EA) of a proposed oil and gas project ...

Study looks at gas transmission, storage sites’ methane releases

07/21/2015 A comprehensive study of US natural gas transmission and storage operations found total methane emissions from 2,292 on-site measurements, addition...

MARKET WATCH: NYMEX crude oil price for August briefly dips below $50/bbl

07/21/2015 Light, sweet crude oil prices briefly dropped below $50/bbl on the New York market on July 20 for the first time since April but regained some supp...

Canadian provincial premiers propose national energy strategy

07/20/2015 Provincial premiers in Canada have proposed a national energy strategy with actions targeting “sustainability and conservation,” “technology and in...

EPA needs to improve oversight of fracing with diesel, OIG report says

07/20/2015 The US Environmental Protection Agency needs to improve its oversight of hydraulic fracturing using diesel fuels and address any compliance issues,...

URTeC: Shell’s Hackbarth says unconventional innovation begins with data

07/20/2015 Operators should resist the impulse to pull back on investments in technology despite a down oil market, said Claudia J. Hackbarth, manager, unconv...
White Papers

2015 Global Engineering Information Management Solutions Competitive Strategy Innovation and Leadership Award

The Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global...
Sponsored by

Three Tips to Improve Safety in the Oil Field

Working oil fields will always be tough work with inherent risks. There’s no getting around that. Ther...
Sponsored by

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by
Available Webcasts

On Demand

OGJ's Midyear Forecast 2015

Fri, Jul 10, 2015

This webcast is to be presented by OGJ Editor Bob Tippee and Senior Economic Editor Conglin Xu.  They will summarize the Midyear Forecast projections in key categories, note important changes from January’s forecasts, and examine reasons for the adjustments.

register:WEBCAST


Predictive Analytics in your digital oilfield - Optimize Production Yield and Reduce Operational Costs

Tue, Jul 7, 2015

Putting predictive analytics to work in your oilfield can help you anticipate failures, plan and schedule work in advance, eliminate emergency work and catastrophic failures, and at the same time you can optimize working capital and improve resource utilization.  When you apply analytic capabilities to critical production assets it is possible to reduce non-productive time and increase your yield.

Learn how IBM's analytics capabilities can be applied to critical production assets with the goal of reducing non-productive time, increasing yield and reducing operations costs.

register:WEBCAST


Cognitive Solutions for Upstream Oil and Gas

Fri, Jun 12, 2015

The oil & gas sector is under pressure on all sides. Reserves are limited and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to find and extract new resources. Margins are already being squeezed in an industry where one wrong decision can cost millions. Analyzing data used in energy exploration can save millions of dollars as we develop ways to predict where and how to extract the world’s massive energy reserves.

This session with IBM Subject Matter Experts will discuss how IBM Cognitive Solutions contribute to the oil and gas industry using predictive analytics and cognitive computing, as well as real time streaming for exploration and drilling.

register:WEBCAST


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected