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No doubts about Ukraine gas debt, EU intends to help Naftogaz - EU energy commissioner

May 02, 2014, 16:27 UTC+3 WARSAW

The European Union, Russia and Ukraine will hold next gas talks in mid-May

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© ITAR-TASS/Aleksei Pavlishak

WARSAW, May 02. /ITAR-TASS/. There are no doubts about Ukraine’s gas debt, EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said after the first tripartite meeting with the energy chiefs of Russia and Ukraine in the Polish capital on Friday.

The European Commission intends to give financial assistance to Ukrainian energy company Naftogaz Ukrainy, Oettinger said.

Ukraine will continue its efforts at further three-party consultations with the European Union and Russia to have the price for Russian gas decreased to 268 US dollars per 1,000 cubic metres, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said on Friday after three-party talks with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and European Commissioner for Energy Gunter Oettinger.

“We are unable to pay almost 500 US dollars per 1,000 cubic metres,” he said. “The Ukrainian said has repeatedly asked the Russian side to return to the price of 268 US dollars per 1,000 cubic metres. Ukraine has agreed to repay its debts at this price.”

“If we fail to reach an agreement at the three-party consultations, we will have to launch litigation. So, we will meet at court on May 28,” he said.

Earlier, Oettinger said that there were no doubts that Ukraine did have gas debts but the amount of such debts were subject to discussion.

Kiev will discharge all its liabilities concerning gas transit to Europe, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said.

“Ukraine will fulfill all its liabilities as concerns gas transit to Europe,” he pledged.

Russia is worried over prospects for Russian gas transit to Europe via Ukraine, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak added.

The Russian minister noted that in order to ensure uninterrupted gas supplies to European countries it was necessary to store some 12 billion cubic metres of gas at Ukraine’s storage facilities during the summer period. “We have heard from our Ukrainian colleagues that gas storing during the summer period is not guaranteed and problems with gas supplies are possible,” Novak said. “It is very serious information for us, which we must analyze.

The European Union, Russia and Ukraine will hold next gas talks in mid-May, EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said.

“A next meeting will be held in mid-May. We agreed to hold next two meetings in two and four weeks,” he said.

Ukraine will have first yields of shale gas production not earlier than in five years, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said.

“Ukraine signed contracts with Shell and Chevron on shale gas production,” he said. “The results however will be seen in five years.”

At the same time, he noted that Ukraine hoped “to stabilize its economy thanks to the assistance from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), so domestic gas consumption will grow.

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