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BERLIN, September 23. /ITAR-TASS/. The gas price dispute between Russia and Ukraine should be resolved as quickly as possible, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Tuesday.
Merkel said the gas dispute required urgent resolution now that winter is coming. The German chancellor said that the situation in east Ukraine continued to destabilize. "This is not a trifle, this is a deep conflict," Merkel noted.
Ukraine’s Energy and Coal Minister Yuriy Prodan said on Tuesday that gas talks between Russia and Ukraine with the EU’s mediation would be held in Berlin on Friday. "We’ll seek a compromise with the Russian Federation," the minister said.
Before October 1, Ukrainian regional authorities should submit the lists of important consumers, except for households, and also the schedule of their possible disconnection from gas supplies, the energy minister said. “If temperatures change sharply, we’ll be forced to switch them off natural gas,” Prodan said.
Russia halted gas supplies to Ukraine in June over its unpaid debt.
Russia said that new natural gas supplies to Ukraine are contingent on Kiev’s debt repayment. Russia raised the gas price for Ukraine from $268.5 to $485.5 per 1,000 cubic meters from April 2014, cancelling two price discounts. Ukraine said it will not pay such high price for Russian natural gas supplies.