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NOVO-OGARYOVO, October 13. /TASS/. Ukraine has disagreed to pay part of the outstanding debt for Russian gas before supplies begin, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told the media on Monday.
“Ukraine has disagreed (with Russia’s position) so far. They have addressed the European Commission with their own option: first the supplies must get underway and then the debt will begin to be paid,” Novak said.
He declared that Russia’s original stance remained unchanged too: “Part of the debt must be paid first, before gas deliveries resume. Ukraine has disagreed so far.”
This question will be among others on the agenda of the October 21 trilateral meeting of Russia, Ukraine and the European Union.
The venue of the meeting has not been decided on yet. Brussels and Berlin have been mentioned as possibilities.
Earlier Ukraine offered to complete the repayment of its gas debt in March 2015, paying the first tranche of $1.451 billion, and paying off the remaining debt in equal tranches by March, according to the Minister.
The Russian Energy Ministry sent an offer to the European Commission under which Ukraine was to pay off its debt for November-December 2013 worth $1.451 billion as one of conditions for new gas deliveries.