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KIEV, September 29 (Itar-Tass) — Kiev and Moscow continue to hold talks on the conditions for natural gas supplies and transit within the agreements reached by Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev on September 24, Ukrainian Minister of Energy and Coal Mining Industry Yuri Boiko said on Thursday.
Speaking at a news briefing, Boiko said, “We are discussing a wide range of issues within the agreements reached by the presidents of the two countries. We are holding talks on this aspect. Our delegation is now staying in Moscow to this end.”
The minister noted that the talks “are a normal process between the country, which sells gas, and the country, which buys it”.
Managing Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in charge of energy and natural resources Riccardo Puliti, who took part in the news briefing, shared the Ukrainian minister’s view.
Puliti said the EBRD knew that Ukraine and Russia held gas talks. In his view, this is a normal working process between the party, which supplies gas, and the party, which transports it.
He also expressed the EBRD’s readiness to discuss the participation in providing funding to the reconstruction of the Ukrainian gas transport system.
Earlier, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said there was progress in gas talks with Ukraine. “Yes, there is progress, but it is timely to talk about any concrete figures and parameters. We should note the common vision of our approaches towards discussing gas issues and solving problems,” Miller told journalists.
“Yesterday we agreed that the next meeting with our Ukrainian friends would take place till the end of this week,” the Gazprom CEO said.
The September 24 talks between Presidents Dmitry Medvedev of Russia and Viktor Yanukovich of Ukraine also attended by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yielded certain agreements, presidential press secretary Natalia Timakova said.
“Further on, [Gazprom CEO] Alexei Miller and [Ukrainian Minister of Energy and the Coal Industry] Yuri Boiko had a meeting to discuss the current situation,” she said.
After this meeting, the Gazprom CEO informed the Russian president that “considerable progress was reached in the issues under discussion, or gas transit tariffs to Ukraine, which makes it possible to hope for reaching corresponding agreements in the interests of both sides,” she said.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said he is glad to be in Russia on the symbolic day for both countries.
In his meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Yanukovich said, “I accepted your invitation with pleasure because, first of all, on this symbolic day for Russia I’m pleased to be near you.”
The Ukrainian president thanked his Russian colleague for hospitality and the informal meeting. “I can say this meeting is very symbolic for me. I want to thank you for a chance to meet in this historical place. As a rule, familiars meet here and it’s very pleasant for me,” he said.
According to Yanukovich, “we have many problems to discuss. For certain, there is no need to delay the session of the interstate commission. I want you to agree on the date before the Regional Economic Forum, due to take place in Donestk, in order to find a chance and hold our interstate commission.”
Commenting on energy cooperation, the Ukrainian leader said he is convinced that everything would be solved in a constructive way. “Due to the fact that we succeeded in obtaining certain results in the 18 months – we managed to stabilise trade and economic relations – I’m sure that we’ll solve our problems in a constructive way,” Yanukovich stressed.
“It’s natural there is sense to talk about more difficult issues, including energy cooperation, border problems and our plan of action that we’ve agreed with you some time ago,” Medvedev said.
The Russian president informed his Ukrainian colleague about the latest events in Russia. “Esteemed Viktor Fyodorovich! I warmly welcome you in the Moscow region. The weather is good. We’ve just completed the congress, determined the party’s goals and nominated future political figures for the upcoming election campaigns. Of course, it is very important for the Russian Federation due to the fact that we are friends and we must have regular contacts, and take decisions. For certain, it has any significance for Ukraine,” the Russian leader said.
In addition, he called for discussing the key issues of Russian-Ukrainian relations and prospects for cooperation, including a session of the interstate commission. In his words, the commission should be convened. But it is necessary “to fill it with concrete substance”. “Here an atmosphere is good to discuss the most difficult issues,” he said.