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BRUSSELS, September 21. /TASS/. Ukraine plans to buy 4 billion cubic meters of gas by the year end, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said Tuesday after three-party talks on gas issues.
Oettinger said the European Commission will define within 5 days what volume of gas can be paid for by Ukraine.
“We have agreed the volume for deliveries at the level of 4 billion cu m under prepayment; the decision on supplies and payment will be made only after a check of Naftogaz’s accounts and consultations with the IMF,” he said.
The European commissioner said Ukraine confirmed its commitments to repay $1.4 billion of its gas debt by the end of October and another $1.6 billion by the yearend.
Oettinger said Ukraine’s failure to repay its debt for already supplied gas is the key obstacle to a temporary gas deal with the Russian Federation.
“There’s one obstacle: Ukraine failed to pay for Russia-supplied gas for seven months,” he said when asked by a Ukrainian journalist why a provisional agreement on gas supplies was not signed at Tuesday's meeting in the Belgian capital.
A European company may become an intermediary in supplies of Russian gas to Ukraine, he added..
“If Naftogaz can’t pay, another company may buy Russian gas and then resell it,” Oettinger said.
Next EU-Ukraine-Russia ministerial meeting on the exports and transits of natural gas to and via Ukraine will be held in Brussels October 29, Oettinger said.
He said the conferring parties had coordinated the date of the next meeting and the discussions at it would focus on the price of gas, which all the negotiators accepted as $385 for 1,000 cubic meters through to the end of March.
Oettinger also said the Russian side guaranteed that this price would not change upon a decision of the government or parliament and the ‘take-or-pay’ formula would not be used until the end of March.
Following this round of trilateral talks the Russian and Ukrainian officials should hold consultations with their countries’ presidents so that an interim agreement could be ready for signing by the next round of talks, the commissioner said.