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Russia-Ukraine-EU talks on gas may be held this week

September 29, 2014, 16:35 UTC+3 ASTRAKHAN ASTRAKHAN September, 29. /ITAR-TASS
The meeting may take place in Berlin next Thursday or Friday
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Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak (right) and European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger (left)

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak (right) and European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger (left)

© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

ASTRAKHAN, September 29. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian-Ukrainian-EU talks on gas may be held later this week, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.

The meeting may take place in Berlin next Thursday or Friday, he told reporters.

A draft of a protocol and a memorandum will be discussed in the next few days. “If it is ready, we will meet on Thursday or Friday,” the minister said.

Previous round of Ukrainian gas issue talks

The last meeting in this format was held in Berlin on September 26. After the meeting, Novak said he hoped a document on Ukrainian gas issue settlement would be signed soon to ensure Russian gas supplies to Ukraine in the next six months. A separate agreement will be signed to avoid legal collisions in the dispute between Naftogaz and Gazprom in the Stockholm court of arbitration.

Infographics Ukraine’s debt burden Ukraine’s debt burden
August 29, IMF Board of Directors discusses the second tranche for Ukraine amounting to $1.4 billion, which was postponed due to instability in south-eastern Ukraine. The country received the first tranche in April 2014. Earlier, April 30, the IMF approved a two-year credit totaling $17 billion for the support of the economic program. Infographics by ITAR-TASS
European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger, explaining the new agreement at a press conference after the meeting in Berlin, said Ukraine must pay $3.1 billion until the end of this year to repay its debt to Gazprom for the gas which had already been supplied . The Russian company will supply five billion cubic meters of gas to Ukraine and give an option for five billion cubic meters more. The price will be set at $385 for 1,000 cubic meters with a 100-dollar discount (from the $485 Russia previously insisted on). The discount will be in force only for the next six months.

Ukraine will pay two billion dollars to Gazprom before October 2 for the supplied gas, and at least $1.1 billion until the end of 2014, the EU commissioner said. Thus, $3.1 billion must be paid until the end of this year.

Oettinger said final payment to settle the debts must be made after the arbitration consideration (no earlier than in the summer of 2015). The final settlement will depend on the court decision.

Ukraine’s debt for gas exceeds $5 billion.

If the Stockholm court takes a decision in favor of the Russian position, $3.1 billion will be a part of payment for Ukraine’s total debt for supplied gas. If the court rules that additional payments are needed, the commission will assume obligations to fulfill it, Oettinger added.

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