BERLIN, October 29. /TASS/. EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said that there was a 50/50 chance of Russia and Ukraine striking an interim natural gas during their negotiations with the EU mediation on Wednesday in Brussels.
In an interview with German television channel ZDF Oettinger said that there were currently all the necessary conditions to conclude an agreement.
According to him, “Russia had been long using sales of natural gas as a political tool” and it was important “to agree on the fair price for the gas and it had been now set.”
“Russia must be ready to ask for the set price for the gas,” he said, adding that Ukraine should be ready to pay for the gas with money it received in the form of loans from Europe. Ukraine, he said, “is practically bankrupt, but receives billions in aid and must use part of these means for the gas payments.”
Oettinger expressed hope that today’s trilateral gas talks between Russia, the European Union and Ukraine would be final and decisive.
"Our next and, I hope, the last trilateral meeting will be held on Wednesday. Our common objective is to find an interim solution on the basis of the winter package. It is essential for ensuring Europe’s energy security and stable (gas) supplies until the end of March 2015," Oettinger told a press briefing held prior to the talks.
The latest three-party gas meeting in Brussels on October 21 once again ended without the expected result as no sources of financing for the repayment of Kiev’s debt were found.
Ukraine’s failure to repay its debt for already supplied gas is the key obstacle to a temporary gas deal with Russia, Oettinger said after the three-party talks.
Ukraine has not paid for already seven months for the natural gas supplied by Russia, the EU energy commissioner said.