Czech prime minister meets Putin as gas dispute festers

Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, acting as current European Union president, met Saturday in Moscow with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in a bid to get Russian gas flowing again to western Europe amid ongoing differences between Kiev and Moscow in their price dispute, dpa reported.

Putin was cited in the talks as blaming Ukraine for having deepened the crisis further.

The Czech premier, according to EU delegation sources, presented Putin with a fifth draft of an official mandate to establish a team of international observers to monitor the flow of gas to the EU.

Topolanek had come to Moscow with a draft which had been approved by Ukrainian leaders - he had met Friday with President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko - for such a mandate.

The Czech leader said in Moscow that he would "remain so long in the region until the gas is flowing again."

The EU has urged Russia immediately to restore gas supplies to Europe after satisfying one of Moscow's key demands in the gas dispute by sending a team of observers to Ukraine.

But the taps remained shut as representatives of the two countries' state-owned monopolies, Gazprom and Naftogaz, worked to hammer out details on the observers' mission, while publicly exchanging accusations that the other was causing more delays.

A deal brokered by the EU on Thursday and Friday still hung in the balance as Gazprom and Naftogaz failed to reach a written agreement on the deployment of additional Russian and Ukrainian observers to each other's territory.

The EU mission, initially consisting of 18 senior EU officials and experts from the European gas industry, is tasked with verifying that no Russian gas is siphoned off by Ukraine while on its way to European customers.

An advance team of eight EU technicians, led by Filip Cornelius, a senior European Commission official, was on the ground in Kiev.

Cornelius made clear restoration of gas supplies to Europe would take time, and - equally importantly - political will on the part of Russia and Ukraine.

The EU observers could technically begin trips to pipelines as early as Saturday, but a large number of "organizational issues" remained to be resolved before gas could flow, he said.

The EU observers are to act as independent monitors at the six main natural-gas pipeline crossing points from Russia to Ukraine, and at the Naftogaz headquarters.

EU member states in central and southern Europe continued to be hard hit by Russia's shut-off of all gas supplies through Ukraine, with Slovakia relying on gas supplies from Poland and EU neighbour Serbia seeking emergency help from Germany, Austria and Hungary.

By far the most critical situation, though, is faced by non-EU members Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia and Moldova, which have no reserves left.

Other seriously affected EU countries such as Greece, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, Hungary, Poland and Romania, either have reserves that can last several weeks or have been able to resort to alternative sources of energy, EU officials said in a statement.

About a quarter of the EU's gas needs are met by Russian gas, 80 per cent of which reaches European clients via Ukraine.

With this Armenian government unfortunately, prospects for peaceful settlement very remote - President Aliyev
With this Armenian government unfortunately, prospects for peaceful settlement very remote - President Aliyev
More military equipment of Armenian armed forces destroyed (VIDEO)
More military equipment of Armenian armed forces destroyed (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani flag hoisted in Agbend village of Zangilan district (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani flag hoisted in Agbend village of Zangilan district (VIDEO)
Loading Bars
Latest
With this Armenian government unfortunately, prospects for peaceful settlement very remote - President Aliyev
More military equipment of Armenian armed forces destroyed (VIDEO)
Azerbaijani flag hoisted in Agbend village of Zangilan district (VIDEO)
Central Bank presents forecasts for Uzbekistan’s macroeconomic dev’t
Kazakhstan, Romania trade turnover increases despite COVID-19
With liberation of Aghband settlement, taking full control over Azerbaijani-Iranian state border ensured - President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijani Army liberates 3 villages of Fuzuli district, 4 villages of Jabrayil district - President Ilham Aliyev
Azerbaijani Army liberates 13 villages, Aghband settlement of Zangilan district - Azerbaijani president
Russia continues to make active efforts to resolve Karabakh conflict - MFA
OIC Parliamentary Union condemns Armenia's attack on Azerbaijan's Ganja
Azerbaijani RabitaBank's assets for 9M2020 grow
Morocco decreases import of Turkish cars
Uzbekistan, Afghanistan to jointly attract funds for transport corridors dev’t in Central Asia
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan agree on resumption of flights
Armenia's tries to present its position as "peaceful" - total nonsense, Azerbaijan says
Iran to offer loans to support industrial production
Isbank Georgia talks about its cooperation with IFC
Restoration of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan - undoubtedly legitimate process - Georgian expert
Adidas plans to sell ailing Reebok business within months
Cargo transportation between Uzbekistan, Afghanistan grows despite decline in int'l trade
Export of cars from Turkey to France down
Yerevan's foreign policy only possible if Armenia accepts it needs to make peace with Azerbaijan - Svante Cornell
Turkish Trade Ministry says export of domestic cars to China up
Georgia sees increase in price of medicines
Turkmenistan’s geographic location offers potential for country’s economy, says US Embassy in Turkmenistan
Azerbaijan Rabitabank’s net profit for 9M2020 revealed
National Bank of Georgia takes another steps to stabilize lari exchange rate
Procedure for calculating total amount of insurance premiums approved in Azerbaijan
Turkey's export of cars to US edge lower
Karabakh hostilities cause direct disruption to health care amid COVID-19 - WHO
Import of Turkish cars by Azerbaijan declines
Yerevan must withdraw troops, mercenaries and terrorists from Azerbaijan - Turkish Defense Minister
Azerbaijan reveals data on imports for 9M2020
Germany's nine-month import of cars from Turkey down
Apples emerging as export crop for second year in Georgia
Azerbaijan reveals 9M2020 trade turnover volumes with major partners
Nagif Hamzayev: Azerbaijan writes new pages in the world military history
Turkey's 9M2020 export of jewelry to Ukraine doubles
Azerbaijani artillerymen continue to make precise strikes at firing points of Armenian armed forces (VIDEO)
Tender: Khazar Consortium to buy materials for smooth operation of oil field facilities
Int'l organizations miscalculate military arsenal of Armenia - MP
Turkmengas opens tender for purchase of equipment
Uzbekistan’s 9M2020 export volume of fruits, vegetables revealed
MagtiCom leads with highest ARPU rate in Georgia
New apartments inagurated in Iran
Azerbaijan's overall exports for 9M2020 unveiled
Kazakhstan to increase electric vehicles manufacturing by 2022
CO2 emissions prevented in Kazakhstan as renewable energy projects launched
Revenues of mobile operators in Georgia down
Uzbekneftegaz launches condensate stabilization unit at Uzbek oil field
Azerbaijani Embassy in Russia clarifying issue on prohibiting Azerbaijani citizens to use Pobeda Airlines' services
Uzbekistan launches mineral-based engine oil production
Trend News Agency's editor-in-chief tells CNN Turk about ongoing tension in Karabakh (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Russia almost halves jewelry imports from Turkey
Azerbaijan’s AzerGold taking measures on legal assessment of illegal mining in occupied territories
Azerbaijan starts reconstructing roads leading to liberated villages of Tartar (PHOTOS)
Georgian Caucasus Auto Import adds new export markets
USAID promotes warehouse digitization of Turkmen logistics company
Uzbekistan eyes to increase cars export by 4Q2020
Uzbekistan’s private business actively involved in agriculture digitalization
Sanctions must be imposed on Armenia, says Lebanese legal expert
Attacking civilians unacceptable, Israeli ambassador says
Armenia opens additional flights to transfer volunteers to Karabakh (PHOTO)
Number of people infected with COVID-19 pandemic in Iran exceeds 550,000
Azerbaijan's president says Armenia receiving external help, including mercenaries, weaponry
Your statements every evening about how many villages, cities have been liberated from occupation bring joy to people all over Turkey - Turkish Chief Ombudsman
Azerbaijan confirms 171 more COVID-19 recoveries
Turkmenistan's import of Turkish jewelry surges
Value of Azerbaijan's goods export by road edges down
Those unwilling to fight in Armenia buy positive coronavirus test at $1,000-2,000
There is not single surviving building in liberated cities, in these villages, in most of them - Azerbaijani president
Media of many countries unilaterally side with Armenia - President Aliyev
Israel's ambassador to Azerbaijan visits Ganja, witnesses damages following Armenia's attack (PHOTO)
We have never taken and will never take any action against civilians, says Azerbaijani president
By breaking back of Armenian fascism, we save our region from great tragedies - President Aliyev
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price rebounds
Georgia, Japan sign double taxation avoidance agreement
Volume of investments to be made to Iran's Khuzestan Province growing
Auto sales drop on Georgian market
Gasoline demand to decline from 2030
Volume of cargo freight via Azerbaijani ports continues to grow
Turkmenistan forecasts total revenues, expenditures of country's financial plan for 2021
EBRD supports refurbishment of wastewater facilities in Kazakhstan's Shymkent
COVID-19 may accelerate downward trends in oil consumption of developed economies
Uzbekistan boosts jewelry import from Turkey
Azerbaijani Central Bank unveils amount of foreign currency sold to local banks
Oil demand has yet to peak for two key reasons
Karabakh conflict should be settled on issues of boundary lines, sovereignty issues - US Ambassador to NATO
Armenians fire at Azerbaijan’s Gabala and Kurdamir cities by using Elbrus ballistic missiles (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan-Russia strategic partnership to reach high level
'NATO not part of Karabakh conflict', Stoltenberg tells Armenia
Azerbaijan shows video footage of captured military equipment of Armenian Armed Forces (VIDEO)
Gold, silver prices in Azerbaijan down
Armenian servicemen refusing to fight, says Azerbaijani MoD
National Bank of Georgia talks about 3 key challenges in financial sector
Armenia must leave occupied Azerbaijani lands, says Turkish president's aide
Uzbekistan to increase electricity supply to Afghanistan
Civilian wounded from Armenian Armed Forces' missile attack on Azerbaijan's Gabala
Turkmenistan to take measures to increase volume of domestic production
Russian businessmen intend to expand their activities in Azerbaijan
All news