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Moscow expects date for Russia-Ukraine-EU gas talks to be specified within two days

October 07, 2014, 14:48 UTC+3
The European Energy Commissioner should consider Russia’s proposals sent on Friday, following which the date for a new round of gas talks will be defined
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Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak

© ITAR-TASS/Anton Novoderezhkin

MOSCOW, October 7. /TASS/. Russia’s Energy Ministry expects the date for gas talks between Russia and Ukraine with the EU’s mediation to be specified within two days, Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Tuesday.

Russia’s Energy Ministry sent its proposals on the meeting to the European Commission on Friday, Novak said.

The European Energy Commissioner should consider Russia’s proposals, following which the date for a new round of gas talks will be defined, Novak said.

“The Russian side is ready to hold a three-party meeting at any moment,” the energy minister said.

Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan earlier said the talks on the price of Russian natural gas and gas supplies to Ukraine could be held in Brussels or Berlin.

Russia’s Energy Minister Novak earlier said the date for the next round of tripartite gas talks would be defined on October 7.

Search for a gas compromise

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev instructed the energy minister on Monday to continue gas talks with Ukraine.

“We certainly need to continue searching for compromises based on the understanding that debts have to be repaid but terms for Ukraine in this situation should be quite acceptable and this is what your meeting with the participation of the European Commission is now aimed at,” the Russian premier said.

Russia’s readiness to supply natural gas to Ukraine at $385 per 1,000 cubic metres (cu m) “is our historical position, which is rather favorable for Ukraine as we believe,” Medvedev said.

Gas talks between Russia and Ukraine with the EU’s mediation at present have had “quite a positive effect,” the Russian premier said. “That is why, I request you to continue these negotiations,” Medvedev said.

The Russian energy minister said Russia was ready to supply 10 billion cu m of natural gas to Ukraine to live through the fall-winter period.

“Gazprom may supply minimum volumes to [Ukraine’s] Naftogaz - 5 billion cu m under the ‘take-or-pay’ clause and under the regime of advance payments,” Novak said.

“Naftogaz will be required to prepay for 5 billion cu m while an additional option may be used for another 5 billion cu m but this time not under the ‘take-or-pay’ clause but in accordance with the system of additional requests, if such are required as a result of winter and the temperature regime,” the Russian energy minister said.

Russia-Ukraine gas dispute

Russia stopped gas flows to Ukraine in June over an unsettled dispute over debt and gas prices.

As of August 1, the overall debt of Naftogaz to Gazprom for supplied gas totaled about $5.3 billion.

Russia raised the gas price for Ukraine from $268.5 to $485.5 per 1,000 cu m 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 average price of Russian natural gas supplies to Europe currently stands at $380-390.

Gazprom offered Ukraine a $100 price discount in August. Kiev rejected the offer, insisting on fixing gas prices without any discounts.

The EU believes it is possible to set the price of Russian natural gas for Ukraine at $385 in winter and $325 in summer.

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