BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States, the European Union, Russia and Ukraine will meet at ministerial level next week to discuss the Ukraine crisis, the EU said on Tuesday, offering a glimpse of possible diplomatic progress in the conflict.
The meeting will involve U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Andriy Deshchytsia, the EU said.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – Ukraine’s energy minister, EU officials and industry representatives held talks on Tuesday on cutting reliance on Russian gas as tension with Moscow drove home the urgency of finding alternative energy sources and supply routes.
Concerns reached a new pitch after pro-Moscow protesters seized buildings in eastern Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking industrial heartland, which Kiev said is a replay of events in Crimea, the peninsula Moscow annexed last month.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – A pioneering European Union survey into the impact of pests and diseases on honey bees found death rates were lower than feared, in part countering concerns about the collapse of colonies of the crop-pollinating insects.
The study of 32,000 bee colonies across 17 EU member states from late 2012 until summer 2013 found winter mortality rates ranged from 3.5 percent to 33.6 percent.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU officials will meet Ukraine’s energy minister on Tuesday as well as review the bloc’s own gas storage levels as fears grow that rising tensions between Moscow and Kiev might lead to a cut-off of gas supplies.
At midnight a deadline expires for Ukraine to reduce the $2.2 billion debt it owes Moscow for natural gas deliveries. So far Ukraine has offered no payments, Moscow says, raising the risk of supply disruption, with possible knock-on effects for the European Union.
BRUSSELS (Reuters) – European Union leaders on Friday discussed accelerating moving energy supplies away from Russia, saying Moscow’s annexation of Crimea made them more determined to reduce dependence on Russian oil and gas.
The EU has made progress in improving its energy security after gas crises in 2006 and 2009, when rows over unpaid gas bills between Kiev and Moscow led to the disruption of supplies to western Europe. However, it has not managed to reduce Russia’s share of European energy supplies.
MOSCOW/BRUSSELS, March 21 (Reuters) – Russian shares fell
sharply on Friday as investors took fright at tougher than
expected U.S. sanctions against President Vladimir Putin’s inner
circle over Moscow’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine.
The United States added 20 names to its sanctions blacklist,
including Kremlin banker Yuri Kovalchuk and his Bank Rossiya,
oil and commodities trader Gennady Timchenko and the brothers
Arkady and Boris Rotenberg, who are linked to big contracts on
gas pipelines and the Sochi Olympics, as well as Putin’s chief
of staff and his deputy, the head of military intelligence and a
BRUSSELS, March 20 (Reuters) – Europe has a range of options
to shore up its energy security and cut dependence on Russian
supplies, including asking the United States to export more gas
and working with Iraq, a British government document says.
Following Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region,
talks between European Union leaders in Brussels on Thursday and
Friday are focusing on how Europe can make itself less reliant
on Russian gas pumped via Ukraine.
BRUSSELS, March 18 (Reuters) – A reverse-flow pipeline deal
to ship gas from Slovakia to Ukraine could be agreed before the
end of April, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger
said on Wednesday.
The Commission, the EU executive, has been pushing for
months to reach an agreement on a link from Slovakia to shore up
Ukraine’s gas supplies and reduce its dependence on Russia.
BRUSSELS/LONDON (Reuters) – European Union leaders are preparing to set an October deadline for agreeing on the bloc’s 2030 climate and energy goals, a draft document seen by Reuters shows.
At a meeting this Thursday and Friday, according to the draft, “The European Council will take stock of progress made on these issues at its meeting in June … with a view to taking a final decision on the new policy framework as quickly as possible and no later than October 2014.”
BRUSSELS, March 19 (Reuters) – European leaders will seek
ways to cut their multi-billion-dollar dependence on Russian gas
at talks in Brussels on Thursday and Friday, while stopping
short of severing energy ties with Moscow for now.
Russia’s seizure of Ukraine’s Crimea region has revived
doubts about whether the European Union should continue to rely
on Russia for nearly a third of its gas, providing Gazprom
with an average of $5 billion per month in revenues.
Some 40 percent of that gas is shipped via Ukraine.