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Germany may act as mediator in talks on Ukraine’s gas consortium

December 03, 2013, 9:39 UTC+3 KIEV
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KIEV, December 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Germany may become a mediator in negotiations to create a tripartite consortium to manage Ukraine’s gas pipeline network, Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Eduard Stavitsky said in an interview with local Channel 5 that was broadcast on Monday.

He said the Ukrainian government’s position remained unchanged. The yet-to-be consortium should include Ukraine, Russia and the European Union.

“This triangle should work,” Stavitsky said. “Angela Merkel (German Chancellor) is ready to act as mediator in these talks as Germany depends on gas supplies.”

The Ukrainian government would do its utmost to reduce the price for Russian gas imports, the minister said, adding that this year’s average price totaled $401-402 per 1,000 cubic meters. Meanwhile, Stavitsky expressed confidence that “a fair price” for Ukraine should make up around $280 per 1,000 cubic meters (taking into account the Kharkov Agreements).

In 2013 Ukraine would get no less than 2.5 billion cubic meters of gas from EU member-states, he said, adding that the average price of European gas totaled $370 per 1,000 cubic meters. Ukraine plans to boost gas imports from the EU through opening one more route — through Slovakia.

“I am confident that next year we will be able to cut the price for gas imports by 10-15 percent, and not only thanks to the talks with Russia,” Stavitsky said.

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