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BRUSSELS, October 13. /TASS/. European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger will visit Kiev on October 20, the day before holding tripartite gas talks in Berlin, the European Commissioner’s press service told TASS on Monday.
On October 10, the European Commission told TASS that Russia and Ukraine had agreed to hold regular tripartite gas consultations in Berlin on October 21. Oettinger proposed this date for holding the talks.
At the previous round of talks on September 26 Russia, the EU and Ukraine prepared a new package agreement on the gas dispute. The agreement should be coordinated by the governments of the parties. The tripartite talks were scheduled to be held at the end of this week.
Earlier, Russia’s Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller expressed doubts about Ukraine’s ability to pay the gas debt in time.
Ukraine, which transits Russian gas on to European consumers, currently does not receive Russian gas for its own needs due to an unsettled dispute with Moscow over prices.
Gas supplies to Ukraine for its own needs were halted, but transit volumes were reportedly passing via Ukraine to Europe in line with the schedule.
In late 2008 - early 2009 a gas dispute between Moscow and Kiev saw Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine on January 1, 2009 over unpaid debts. Gas deliveries to European consumers were affected because Ukraine apparently started siphoning off transited gas. The dispute was resolved on January 18, 2009 with a new gas contract that today’s Kiev authorities want revised.