BRUSSELS, May 21 (RIA Novosti) - The European Union hopes that Russia and Ukraine will remain reliable partners in the deliveries and transit of gas to the EU, President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso said in a letter addressed to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"It is the European Union’s clear expectation that all sides will remain reliable and responsible supply and transit partners, which is also very much in their own interest," Barroso wrote.
"I also expect a constructive approach from the Russian Federation to solve the issues at hand," he continued.
The EU threatened Russia with sanctions due to escalating crisis in Ukraine, and threatened to cut gas purchases from Russia, its major energy supplier.
In the two out of three planned stages of sanctions, the EU sanctions targeted 61 people, including high-ranking Russian officials and two Crimean companies. The third stage, not yet reached, would be broad economic sanctions against entire sectors of the Russian economy.
Members of the European Parliament have urged limiting cooperation with Russian energy companies, including halting construction of the South Stream project, which is planned to deliver Russian natural gas to Europe via a route bypassing Ukraine. The resolution came as a voluntary recommendation.
Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt said earlier the upcoming May 25 presidential elections in Ukraine will decide whether the EU foreign ministers would consider new sanctions against Russia.