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EU expects Minsk meeting to pave way for new gas talks

August 25, 2014, 19:48 UTC+3 BRUSELS
The aim of the three-party talks involving the European Union, Ukraine and Russia is to find a solution to the gas row between Russia and Ukraine, according to the source
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EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger

EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger

© EPA/JULIEN WARNAND

BRUSSELS, August 25. /ITAR-TASS/. The European Union expects the Tuesday international meeting on the Ukrainian crisis settlement in the Belarusian capital Minsk will pave the way for a new round of three-party gas talks in September, a EU foreign policy source told ITAR-TASS on Monday.

The aim of the three-party talks involving the European Union, Ukraine and Russia is to find a solution to the gas row between Russia and Ukraine, the source said.

Taking part in the previous talks on the price of Russian gas and Ukraine’s debt to Russia were the Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers, Alexander Novak and Yuriy Prodan and EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger.

The consultations started on May 2 and ended on June 16 failing to produce result, after which Russia’s Gazprom and Ukraine’s Naftogaz gas companies filed lawsuits against each other.

Russian energy giant Gazprom on June 16 switched Ukraine’s oil and gas company Naftogaz to prepayment for gas supplies because Kiev failed to pay part of its gas debt by the deadline of 10:00 Moscow Time on June 16.

Gas supplies to Ukraine were halted, but transit volumes were reportedly passing via Ukraine to Europe in line with the schedule.

Gazprom said June 16 that Naftogaz’s past due debt for supplied Russian gas totaled $4.458 billion: $1.451 billion for November-December 2013 and $3.007 billion for April-May 2014.

Talks in Minsk on Tuesday will bring together Russian President Vladimir Putin, his Belarusian, Kazakhstani counterparts Alexander Lukashenko and Nursultan Nazarbayev, and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. The meeting will also be attended by High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton, European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht and EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger.

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