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MOSCOW, March 30. /TASS/. The Russian government will prepare an assignment to examine an opportunity of offering a natural gas discount to Ukraine as soon as possible, minister of energy Alexander Novak said on Monday.
"The Ministry of Energy was approached by the European Commission (EC) with a request to consider offering the natural gas discount to Ukraine within the duty limits," Novak said.
"The Russian government will draft the resolution in the nearest time and this matter will be discussed," the minister said. "What is essentially meant is to offer a discount that was effective during five months, from early November to March 31. This discount will expire on March 31," Novak added.
Injection of 12-15 billion cubic meters of the Russian natural gas to Ukrainian underground storages, guarantees of the reliable transit of the Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine and financial assistance of the European Commission to Ukraine for UGS gas procurements will be discussed at the forthcoming gas talks with the EC to be provisionally held on April 13, the minister said.
"Firstly, injection volumes ranging from 12 to 15 billion cubic meters will be discussed. Reliability guarantees of the natural gas transit transportation to European consumers are the second point. We also expect steps forward of the European Commission, including assistance to the Ukrainian side to finance procurement of the required gas volume in case of necessity," Novak added.
TASS reported earlier Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller said Gazprom approached the Russian government at the request of the Ukrainian Naftogaz concerning a three-month natural gas discount for Ukraine.