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Lavrov is surprised by Brussels’ calls for Russia-Ukrainian gas talks at highest level

June 12, 2014, 13:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“If the negotiations were, but do not have any authorities, it would not be easy,” Russian Foreign minister said
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© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

MOSCOW, June 12. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov is surprised by the urge from Brussels to organize the gas negotiations between Russia and Ukraine at the highest level.

“I have heard (this statement), but I do not understand, what they mean,” Lavrov told reporters. “If the negotiations were, but do not have any authorities, it would not be easy”.

Earlier, three-party gas talks in Brussels have ended without an agreement, the negotiations will continue, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Wednesday after talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union.

Russia will introduce prepayment mode for natural gas supplies to Ukraine if Kiev fails to pay debt by 09:00 Moscow time (05:00 GMT) on June 16, the minister added.

The volumes of April-May gas supplies to Ukraine should be paid in full to the tune of $2.3 billion, Alexander Novak said.

He explained that the $500 million tranche should be received by June 16, and the remaining part of Ukraine’s debt to the tune of $1.8 billion by June 26.

Novak said the $2.3 billion debt repayment is part of a package agreement.

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