If the South Stream issue is raised by the Russian side, the European Commission is ready to discuss it. But the main issue is to find a solution to the current Russia-Ukraine gas dispute, EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger’s spokeswoman Marlene Holzner said.
The European Commission officially announced on Monday that gas talks between Russia and Ukraine with the EU’s mediation would be held in Berlin on September 26.
The next trilateral meeting will take place at the ministerial level with the participation of European Commission Vice-President Guenther Oettinger, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, the EC said in a press release.
“The aim of the trilateral meetings is to ensure continued gas supplies and transit,” the press release said.
Russia raised the gas price for Ukraine from $268.5 to $485.5 per 1,000 cubic meters from April 2014. Ukraine has said it will not pay for Russian natural gas supplies at such a high price.
After Russia and Ukraine failed to reach a compromise on the gas issue, Naftogaz and Gazprom filed mutual claims to the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal.The gas price for Ukraine has increased, in particular, by $100 per 1,000 cubic meters since April 1, 2014 after Russia denounced the 2010 Kharkov accords on extending the lease of the Russian Black Sea Fleet’s base in Crimea in exchange for a gas price discount. The accords were denounced after the Black Sea peninsula joined Russia in the spring of 2014.
Russia also offered Kiev the second discount as part of an anti-crisis aid package for Ukraine in November 2013 but scrapped it from April 1, 2014 over Ukraine’s failure to repay its debts for Russian natural gas supplies.
Gazprom halted gas supplies to Ukraine in June over its unpaid debt and filed a $4.5 billion suit to the Stockholm arbitration court. Later, Kiev reciprocated by sending a suit to the court against Gazprom for making Ukraine overpay $6 billion for gas since 2010, setting too high prices in its contract.