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EU Auditors Call for More Effective Assistance to Ukraine in Gas Sector

© AP Photo / Sergei ChuzavkovUkrainian worker operates a valve at a gas storage point in Bil 'che-Volicko-Ugerske underground gas storage facilities in Strij, outside Lviv, Ukraine
Ukrainian worker operates a valve at a gas storage point in Bil 'che-Volicko-Ugerske underground gas storage facilities in Strij, outside Lviv, Ukraine - Sputnik International
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The European Union should provide more effective assistance to Ukraine in the gas sector to secure EU gas supplies through this country, EU external auditors said in a new report published Wednesday.

BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — Auditors from the European Court of Auditors (ECA) wrote that the Commission and the External Action Service should take steps to make EU assistance to Ukraine more effective in the gas sector.

The ECA, a Luxembourg-based independent external auditor, billed as the "guardian" of the EU finances, said "there has been some success in improving governance and securing EU supplies via Ukraine."

"Before 2014, EU assistance had little impact on the functioning of the Ukrainian gas sector and produced mixed results in terms of security of supply. However, one notable later achievement was the adoption in April 2015 of a gas law compliant with the EU’s third energy package," the report said.

An employee tightens the valve on a pipeline at the Bilche-Volytsko-Uherske underground gas storage facility, the largest in Europe, not far from the village of Bilche village, in the Lviv region of western Ukraine, on May 21, 2014 - Sputnik International
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Ukraine vowed to conduct sweeping reforms to tackle corruption after a Maidan uprising in 2014 brought a new government to power. The European Union propped up the new administration with a lifeline of 11.2 billion euros ($1.2 billion) over seven years.

"But this was an emergency solution. The EU allocated and disbursed large amounts of money rapidly and without first agreeing its strategy," the auditors wrote.

The review was conducted in the gas sector, as well as in the areas of the public finance management and the fight against corruption, between 2007 and 2015. It assessed whether European Commission and the European External Action Service assistance was effective in supporting Ukraine’s reforms.

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