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European Union Energy Commission Gunther Oettinger is confident that Moscow, Kyiv and Brussels will manage to reach an agreement and avoid new disruptions in gas supplies to the EU market.
"There is clearly a conflict, there are different positions between Russia and Gazprom in particular on one side and Ukraine and the EU on the other, but all the parties are intelligent enough to avoid needless conflicts", Oettinger said at a press conference in Vilnius on Monday, Interfax-Ukraine reports.
Asked about how Ukraine's further association with the EU might affect Russian gas shipments to the EU and the possibility of another "gas war," Oettinger said no one wants a repeat of what happened in January 2009.
He said Russia and Gazprom are and will be Europe's most important partners, suppliers and exporters to the EU market.
"The EU wants to continue this strong partnership in the long term, and Ukraine is needed for this as a transit country, as a partner and even more as a partner with its own resources", Oettinger said.
He said Russia wants to produce and sell gas, and the EU wants to buy it and pay for it, using all existing pipelines. Oettinger said he was optimistic that any major problems such as those that occurred four years ago will be avoided in the coming months.