EU's energy chief says confident gas supply commitments will be met

VIENNA, June 16 Mon Jun 16, 2014 4:59am EDT

VIENNA, June 16 (Reuters) - European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Monday that Ukraine intended to fill its gas transit commitments to the European Union and he was also confident Russia would meet its gas supply pledges to the EU.

But, speaking at a news conference in Vienna, he said the EU might have a problem if it did not fill its storage and urged Russia to reconsider a compromise put forward by the EU, perhaps with small adjustments.

Gazprom said early on Monday it was reducing shipments of gas to Ukraine, following the breakdown of talks between Kiev and Moscow to resolve a pricing row, brokered by the European Commission.

Arguments over the legality of the South Stream pipeline, being build by Gazprom to ship gas directly to Europe while bypassing Ukraine, have complicated the price row.

Oettinger has said it breaches EU law, but on Monday he said it was a project he could accept. (Reporting by Michael Shields; writing by Barbara Lewis; editing by Justyna Pawlak)