The European Commission hopes that Russia, Ukraine and the European Union will work together to ensure the delivery of Russian natural gas to consumers in the abnormal cold conditions, European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger commented on Ukraine's initiative to help Gazprom perform its contractual obligations to supply gas to the EU, UKRINFORM reported.

Large parts of Europe feel the effects of cold weather, causing increased demand for gas, not only in many EU countries, but also in Russia and Ukraine, the European Commission said, adding this situation should be solved together and expressing hope that the Russian partners are ready to cooperate with the Ukrainian side and partners in the EU. Only in solidarity it is possible to ensure reliable guarantees of supply to consumers in the EU and Ukraine, as well as to all members of the Energy Community, the EC said.

As reported, since early February, nine EU member states have reported reduced supply of Russian natural gas. On Monday, February 6, Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov said that Ukraine is ready to help Russia secure the necessary gas supplies to Europe. On Wednesday, Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuriy Boiko said that Ukraine had increased the intake of gas from its underground storage facilities to help the Russian partners and to ensure adequate pressure in the pipeline to the west.

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