Gas agreement between Ukraine and Russia crucial

‘We have noted reports that the Russia company Gazprom has today reduced gas supplies to Ukraine. Energy supplies must not be used as a political tool. We hope the parties will reach agreement on this issue as soon as possible,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

‘We have noted reports that the Russia company Gazprom has today reduced gas supplies to Ukraine. Energy supplies must not be used as a political tool. We hope the parties will reach agreement on this issue as soon as possible,’ said Minister of Foreign Affairs Børge Brende.

A number of European countries receive Russian gas via pipelines that cross Ukraine. Gas supplies from Russia to Ukraine are reported to have been drastically reduced today.

‘It is very unfortunate that negotiations on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine have so far failed to produce results. This raises fears that gas supplies to Europe may be disrupted,’ Mr Brende said.

The unrest in Ukraine is continuing. According to the Ukrainian authorities, some 300 people have been killed in Donetsk and Luhansk over the past two months in clashes between armed groups and Ukrainian military forces. On Friday, 49 military personnel lost their lives when a Ukrainian transport plane was shot down in Luhansk.

‘Norway condemns the shooting down of the Ukrainian transport plane. The Government extends its condolences to Ukraine and to the families of the 49 service personnel who lost their lives,’ Mr Brende said.

Paramilitary groups are contributing to lawlessness and a breakdown of infrastructure in eastern Ukraine.

‘We expect Russia to take steps to prevent personnel and military equipment from crossing the border into Ukraine. Ukraine has the right to defend itself against this type of military activity, and so far has shown considerable restraint,’ Mr Brende said.