Gas Coordination Group evaluates recent gas dispute
The Gas Coordination Group evaluates the recent Russian-Belarus gas dispute
Brussels, Belgium – At the request of Commissioner Piebalgs, the Gas Coordination Group met 2007-01-4 to assess the reliability of gas supply through Belarus after the last-minute agreement signed between Gazprom and Belarus on 31 December 2006. The Group assessed the agreement positively and stressed the importance of a consolidated and stable multi-annual agreement to secure gas transit through Belarus. For the first time a Belarussian representative was invited to the meeting.
"A secure and predictable energy supply is a must for European economy and a right for European citizens. Security of energy supply is one of the key elements of the European Energy Policy that the Commission is going to present on 10 January", said Commissioner Piebalgs.
H.E.Mr Vladimir Senko – Ambassador, Head of Mission of Belarus to the EU, presented the main outline of the agreement from the Belarussian perspective. The Group also reviewed the measures that were taken by the Member States most concerned in case of a temporary supply disruption. In the context of a mild winter and considering the current situation of storage and gas flows, the measures taken by the Member States were considered appropriate to ensure security of supply.
After the crisis concerning transit through Ukraine last year, the threats made to security of supply during the recent Russian-Belarus gas dispute clearly emphasized the need for strong cooperation between Member States.
About 20% of Russian gas imports in the EU transit through Belarus, mainly to Poland, Germany and Lithuania.
The Gas Coordination Group was established by a 2004 Directive  dealing with measures to safeguard security of natural gas supply. It is chaired by the European Commission and composed of representatives of Member States, representative bodies of the industry concerned and of relevant consumers.
 Directive 2004/67/EC