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Russia to resume gas talks after Ukraine repays debt — energy minister

June 18, 2014, 13:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
The European Commission has proposed to arrange a new round of three-party gas consultations by mid-July
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Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak

© ITAR-TASS/Artyom Geodakyan

MOSCOW, June 18. /ITAR-TASS/. Gas talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission will resume only after the Ukrainian side repays its gas debt. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has stated this on Wednesday.

“Our stance has not changed. Talks and consultations may continue only after the Ukrainian side repays its debt,” Novak told ITAR-TASS.

The European Commission has proposed to arrange a new round of three-party gas consultations by mid-July.

European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger has said that the European Commission hopes to find a solution to the gas problem during the summer, when there is enough gas in storage and the demand is low.

“No doubt we are in a sensitive situation. We are in June, so it's not really urgent today, but it's my concern and my ambition to use the summer time (to solve this crisis),” he said.

Oettinger added that he planned to talk to Ukraine in the coming days in an attempt to arrange bilateral talks next week. After that, he said he would speak with Russia to organize another round of three-party talks by mid-July.

The last round of gas talks on Monday ended to no avail, prompting Gazprom to switch Ukraine to pre-payment as Kiev had failed to repay $1.951 billion in debt by 10.00 Moscow time. After that, only gas contracted by European consumers has been pumped via Ukraine.

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