EC spokeswoman, Helen Kearns, made the remarks on Friday, a day after Hungary’s gas pipeline network operator, FGSZ, announced it had indefinitely halted gas supplies to Ukraine due to technical reasons.
SHAFAQNA– The European Commission (EC) has criticized EU member state, Hungary, for suspending reverse-flow gas supplies to its northeastern neighbor, Ukraine.
“The message from the commission is very clear — we expect all member states to facilitate reverse flows as agreed by the European Council in the interest of a shared energy security,” said Kearns.
Ukraine’s state-owned gas company, Naftogaz, labeled Hungary’s decision as “unexpected and unexplained.”
Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban defended the move saying his country could not risk a halt to Russian gas supplies due to the ongoing conflict between Moscow and Kiev.
Orban’s comments came after Russia warned European countries against re-exporting gas to Ukraine. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said the re-export of Russian gas to Ukraine was illegal and could result in some of European nations going without shipments from Russia’s energy company, Gazprom.
Russia is the biggest supplier of gas to Europe, with Hungary as one of a dozen eastern and central European states that depend on Moscow for more than three quarters of their gas needs.
Ukraine has been receiving gas deliveries from Hungary, Poland and Slovakia since Russia halted supplies to Kiev in June in a dispute over gas payments.
Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine in June after Kiev failed to make a $1.95-billion payment of its $5.2-billion debt and gas price talks between the two countries yielded no results.
Kiev has refused to pay for natural gas upfront in protest at Russia’s decision in April to almost double gas prices for Ukrainian consumers to $485 per 1,000 cubic meters from $268 for the first quarter of 2014.
Ukraine says the Kremlin increased the price after former President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted in February. Kiev calls the move politically motivated, but Russian authorities reject the claim.
Source: Press TV