BRUSSELS, June 09. /ITAR-TASS/. Representatives of Russia, Ukraine, and the European Commission (EC) will make yet another attempt here on Monday to reach agreement on repayment of Kiev's debt for gas and determine a price for its further deliveries. Neither is it ruled out that, on the sidelines of these consultations, the EC and Russia will discuss the situation concerning the South Stream gas pipeline, the construction of which was suspended by Sofia on Sunday under a strong pressure from Brussels and Washington.
This will be already a fifth round of tripartite talks on gas with the participation of Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak, Yuri Prodan,Verkhovna Rada-appointed Minister of Energy and the Coal Industry, and Guenther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for Energy.
Sabina Berger, Commissioner Oettinger's press secretary, told Itar-Tass that the meeting would be also attended by Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller, and Andrei Kobolev, Head of the Board of the Naftogaz Ukrainy, who "held bilateral consultations last week" with a view to "settling a number of unresolved issues".
It is also expected that talks may be also held on Monday between Russia and the EU on the situation regarding the South Stream construction. On Sunday, Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski of Bulgaria announced after a meeting with a US Senators' delegation that he ordered suspending the work to build the pipeline pending rectifying deficiencies observed by the CE.
Gazprom implements the South Stream project with a view to diversifying the deliveries of natural gas to Europe and reducing dependence on gas-transit countries. The South Stream Transport B.V. Company is an international joint-venture (JV) enterprise which was established for planning out, building and subsequently operating the pipeline which is to be laid in the Black Sea water area. Gazprom's share in the JV is 50%, and that of the Italian Eni Company is 20%; the French EDF, and the German Wintershall Holding GmbH) have 15% each.
The maritime section of the South Stream gas pipeline will run across the bed of the Black Sea from the Russkaya (Russian) pumping station on the Russian coast to Bulgaria's shores. Its overall length will be more than 900 km, and maximum depth over two km; the rated carrying capacity will be 63 billion cubic metres of gas.
First deliveries of gas via the pipeline are slated for the end of 2015.