EU agrees to gas talks with Russia

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EU agrees to gas talks with Russia

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The EU has agreed with Russian President Vladimir Putin to hold talks on gas security.

The 28-member bloc wants to soothe tensions between Moscow and Kyiv over over Russia’s actions in Crimea and alleged interference in eastern Ukraine.

European Commission president José Manuel Barroso replied to a letter penned last week by Putin, in which he warned Russia could cut gas supplies to Ukraine over unpaid debts.

Barroso said Ukraine’s gas debts and import prices should be considered as part of a wider aid package between the EU and the International Monetary Fund.

He told Russia to respect gas contracts and said that Europe should be warned of “any unilateral steps,” such as halting supplies.

MEPs also added their voice to the debate.

The European Parliament on Wednesday passed a non-binding resolution that called for EU sanctions against Russia’s energy sector.

But sanctions of that kind can only be approved by EU governments.