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MINSK, August 27, /ITAR-TASS/. The European Union (EU) has suggested "reaching an intermediate agreement on gas" between Ukraine and Russia, without waiting for rulings of the Stockholm arbitration court, Guenther Oettinger, EU Commissioner on Energy, said at the close of talks with the Ukrainian president.
The Contact Group on Ukraine must resume its work as soon as possible, Russia's President Vladimir Putin stated at the close of his meeting with Ukrsinian President Pyotr Poroshenko.
"In this connection, agreement has been reached that the Contact Group must resume its work as quickly as possible," Putin said. He assured that Russia would do everything for that. "The process must be started as quickly as possible," Russia's Head of State emphasized.
On the whole, when speaking of his meeting with Poroshenko, Putin said the discussion dealt with the entire spectrum of Russia-Ukraine relations, including economic interaction, the situation in the country's south-east, the need to put an earliest end to the bloodshed, and the need tor a political settlement of the entire set of problems.
Russian President said gas-related issues between Russia and Ukraine "are in a deadlock". "The secret is small Gazprom upped and made an advance payment for the transit of Russia's gas to Europe while Ukraine's petroleum joint-stock company upped and returned the advance payment. So, the transit of our gas to European users proved suspended in the air. What will be next in this respect?" Russia's Head of State queried. The President's opinion is that the return of the funds for transit "is the matter that awaits a meticulous researcher as represented by our partners European and Ukrainian".
"We fully abide by all the terms of the contract," Putin emphasized. "We even may not accept certain privilege-granting proposals because Ukraine applied to the Court of Arbitration. Any our privilege-granting actions may be made use of in court," Putin pointed out.
He said Russia and Ukraine had got a lot of specific matters which must be resolved. Both Russia, U kraine, and the European Union are interested in a solution to them. "This is what prompted us to hold a five-sided meeting," the Russian Head of State said in conclusion.