EU welcomes resumption of Russian gas flow

January 13, 2009

, BRUSSELS, January 13 – The European Commission on Tuesday welcomed the announcement in Moscow of the restoration of Russian gas flows to Europe and said its monitors in Ukraine would check that this is the case.

"The commission welcomes the announcement from Russia that the gas flow is back in the pipes," commission spokesman Ferran Tarradellas said, after a Gazprom spokesman said gas had already reached Ukraine and was heading towards Europe.

"Our monitors are checking this on the ground," he told AFP.

"We call on the goodwill of the two parties that have made this agreement possible to resolve the remaining issues in order to find a permanent solution that would restore the stability in our energy relations with Russia and Ukraine."

The Russian gas supply through Ukraine was shut off six days ago, amid a payments dispute with Kiev, and the renewed supplies for the EU could take days to return to normal.

Russia\’s state-run gas giant Gazprom has also warned that deliveries would be cut again if Ukraine continues siphoning off gas — an allegation denied by Kiev.

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