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BRUSSELS, March 20. /TASS/. The Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers are due to meet in Brussels Friday with the EU’s mediation to discuss Russian gas supplies to Kiev and its transit to Europe after April 1.
The European Commission believes that the participants of the three-party talks - Alexander Novak, his Ukrainian counterpart Vladimir Demchishin and Maros Sefcovic, the vice president of the European Commission, in charge of Energy Union - are unlikely to reach a final agreement earlier than by June.
A European Commission source said ahead of talks: "We do not expect any final decisions. The task for today is more modest: to define the exact agenda, listen to all the positions and aspects of the future agreement that we want to reach."
"We consider June as a real date for reaching the agreements," the source said.
The European Commission wants to fully assess the amount of gas Ukraine needs. "The European Commission has its own assessments, but we do not know whether the Ukrainian and Russian sides share them," the source stressed.
Kiev lacks around $2.6 billion to purchase gas to fill the gas storages for the 2015 summer season, the source said.
The upcoming talks will not involve Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller, the Russian energy giant’s official spokesman Sergey Kupriyanov told TASS.
The Gazprom head earlier said the main issues between the Russian gas monopoly and the Ukrainian national energy company Naftogaz were fully regulated by the existing 2009 contract and all addenda to it, including additional documents signed after Moscow and Kiev reached agreement on the winter package in late October 2014. These documents also relate to Ukraine’s obligation to prepay for Russian natural gas supplies, Miller said.
"So, all the terms of deliveries as of today are defined by our contractual obligations and there is no need to make any amendments or addenda to the existing contract for gas supplies from April 1," the Gazprom CEO said.