Kiev: European energy crisis caused by Russia

KIEV, Ukraine, Oct. 3 (UPI) —

The Ukrainian government is deeply concerned about risks to European energy security caused by the Kremlin, Ukraine’s prime minister said.

Ukrainian Prime Miniser Arseniy Yatsenyuk said from Kiev risks to European energy security were "caused by the Russian Federation."

The prime minister hosted regional and European leaders in an effort to allay concerns about natural gas before winter demand increases.

Russian natural gas company Gazprom in 2006 and 2009 cut gas supplies through Ukraine in response to contractual disputes with the government in Kiev. Ukraine’s political upheaval in November left its economy in shambles and Kiev’s debt obligations are creating risks to European security.

"We are deeply concerned about the erosion of European energy security, the EU and Ukraine from the Russian company Gazprom," the prime minister said Thursday.

Russia meets about 20 percent of European natural gas demand, though 80 percent of the volume sent to Europe runs through the Soviet-era transit network in Ukraine.

Ukraine’s energy minister met Thursday with European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger. The Ukrainian government said it was committed to reforming the gas transit system and reorganize state energy company Naftogaz according to the terms outlined by Europe.