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Russia, EU Agree on Warning System on Oil, Gas Supplies

Russia and the European Union have agreed to set up an early warning system which will alert them to any disruptions to gas and oil supplies flowing through Russian pipelines, a senior Kremlin official said on Wednesday.

"We have been able to reach an agreement on the creation of a mechanism for early warning which is being created first of all to notify in good time about any problems arising with supply and demand," Sergei Yastrzhembsky, Russian President Vladimir Putin's chief adviser on EU relations, told a news briefing.

Russia is one of the EU's main energy suppliers, pumping oil and gas through its pipeline systems west across Belarus and Ukraine.

Last winter a pricing dispute between Russia and Belarus disrupted the EU's supplies which had 12 months earlier been hit by a similar argument between Russia and Ukraine.