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Kiev talks gas as European patience runs short

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Kiev talks gas as European patience runs short

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Ukraine’s hopes of bringing an end to the gas crisis have were dashed when a summit of six eastern European presidents was replaced by a lower level Q and A session on secure energy. The Kiev gathering was an attempt to seize the initiative from Russia and tomorrow’s meeting in Moscow between gas importing and transporting countries. But the European Union’s enthusiasm for more talks is almost exhausted, according to the Czech Presidency.

The Czech Prime Minister, Mirek Topolanek said patience is running out and warned the EU’s stance is “substantially tougher than several days ago.” The EU prefers that tomorrow’s talks be bilateral between Moscow and Kiev with the EU as an observer. It fears the participation of other states could split the union. But with gas supplies running out and few alternatives, that seems increasingly unlikely to happen.