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BERLIN, May 19. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission (EC) will have a second round of three-party gas talks on May 26.
EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger has offered Germany's capital Berlin as a venue for talks.
Russia is prepared to discuss a gas price discount for Ukraine, but only if the country repays its gas debt of $2.2 billion as of April 1, Energy Minister Alexander Novak told a news conference after a meeting with EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger in the German capital.
“We do not rule out continued talks on possible discounts, but only the gas debt amassed by April 1 is repaid,” he said.
Naftogaz of Ukraine's current debt for Russian gas constitutes $3.5 billion, Novak said.
If Ukraine does not pay the debt till the end of May, Russia will supply it on a pre-payment basis from June. However, Kiev refuses to pay the debt and disagrees with Russia’s decision to raise prices.
Ukraine is a transit country for Russian gas exports to Europe that is why such situation can hamper gas supplies to European consumers. In order to avoid supply disruption in May the consultations within the Russia-Ukraine-European Commission format were started in May.