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Ukraine expects gas compromise with Russia pending Stockholm court decision

October 22, 2014, 2:01 UTC+3 BRUSSELS
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BRUSSELS, October 22. /TASS/. Ukraine intends to reach a compromise in its gas row with Russia pending the decision of the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal, Ukrainian Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuri Prodan said on Tuesday after three-party talks on Ukraine’s gas debt.

“Talks must be continued pending the decision of the Stockholm Arbitration Tribunal. I think the situation is to be settled before the start of 2015,” he said.

According to Prodan, the European Commission and Ukraine agree with the price of Russian gas for Ukraine at $385 for 1,000 cubic meters.

“This is the so-called winter package. But this price, and this is our common position with the European Commission, must not depend on any other decisions, including decisions of the Russian government until March 2015,” he said.

Russia stopped gas flows to Ukraine in June over an unsettled dispute over debt and gas prices. Russia has said it is ready to resume natural gas supplies to Ukraine, if Kiev repays its huge gas debt and makes advance payments for new gas deliveries.

Ukraine’s Naftogaz stopped paying for the consumed Russian natural gas on March 25. 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 cubic meters 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.

Meanwhile, a Tuesday three-party gas meeting on Ukraine’s gas debt to Russia, involving Russia, Ukraine and the European Union, once again ended without the expected result: no sources of financing for repayment of Kiev’s debt were found. A next meeting is scheduled for October 29.

Ukraine’s failure to repay its debt for already supplied gas is the key obstacle to a temporary gas deal with the Russian Federation, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said after three-party talks, involving Russia’s Minister of Energy Alexander Novak, his Ukrainian counterpart Yuri Prodan and Guenther Oettinger.

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