MOSCOW, September 23 (RIA Novosti) – With a major trade meeting between Russia and Ukraine approaching, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has advocated Tuesday for a long-term solution to the gas dispute between the two countries on Tuesday, AP reports.
Merkel said said that although there have been some “small successes” to calm the Ukraine crisis, a long-term working solution has yet to be found. The dispute over payments for past deliveries and future gas prices is one of the major issues which must be resolved “as quickly as possible”, Merkel told on Tuesday.
The German Chancellor’s statement comes concurrently with EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger who warned Russia not to use gas as a weapon against Ukraine, AFP said.
“The gas sector and the energy sector as a whole should not be a political tool. It should not be a weapon in these difficult times, in the crisis between Ukraine and Russia and between Europe and Russia”, EU Energy Commissioner said, as quoted by AFP.
Russia supplies about one third of Europe’s gas needs. A large part of Europe’s gas is delivered through Ukraine. Although the EU has banned the sale of equipment to Russian oil companies last month, it has not followed the US’s lead and imposed sanctions on Gazprom.