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European Commission confirms tripartite gas talks will be held in Berlin May 26

May 23, 2014, 19:31 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
Ukraine’s debt is of $3.5 billion. If Ukraine does not pay the debt till the end of May, Russia will supply it on a pre-payment basis from June
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© AP Photo/Yves Logghe

BRUSSELS, May 23. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Commission has confirmed that tripartite gas talks within the Russia-Ukraine-EU format will be held in Berlin on May 26.

The results of the meeting will be taken into account in forming proposals on energy security. Then the proposals will be submitted to the EU Council in the middle of June, the European Commission’s spokeswoman, Pia Ahrenkilde Hansen said on Friday.

The tripartite gas talks will be attended by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger and Ukrainian parliament-appointed Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuriy Prodan.

Ukraine’s debt is of $3.5 billion. 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.

The throughput capacity of the Ukrainian gas transportation is 288 billion cubic metres system at the entrance and 178.5 billion cubic meters at the exit, including 142.5 billion cubic metres to European countries and 3.5 billion cubic metres to Moldova.

Ukraine’s gas transportation system consists of 72 compressor stations, 110 production shops and 1,451 gas distribution stations. The overall length of gas pipelines operated by the company is 38,600 kilometres, including 22,200 kilometres of trunk pipelines and 16,400 kilometres of extensions.

In December 2013, Russian Gazprom and Naftogaz Ukrainy signed an addendum to the gas agreement in effect from January 19, 2009, under which the price of Russian natural gas for Ukraine was to be reduced by one-third to $268.5 per 1,000 cubic metres from January 1, 2014, compared to $410 per 1,000 cubic metres in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Moscow and Kiev also agreed that the discount would remain in effect as long as the key conditions were met, specifically timely payments for current supplies and repayment of debts.

At the end of the first quarter of 2014, Gazprom said it would have to raise the price of gas for Ukraine by more than $100 to $385.5 per 1,000 cubic metres because Ukraine had failed to pay the debt for the gas delivered in 2013 and had not made payments for current supplies.

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