KIEV, August 3. /TASS/. CEO of Ukraine’s state gas company Naftogaz of Ukraine Andrey Kobolev hopes to sign an agreement on gas supplies to Ukraine with Russia’s gas giant Gazprom in October.
"We couldn’t gain understanding with our Russian colleagues on the period of validity of discount and its format last time. Hopefully we will be able to solve the issue in August and sign an agreement enabling us to comfortably pass the heating season, in October," he said on Monday.
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on July 17 that Ukraine must start pumping Russian gas in its underground gas storage facilities in August in order to successfully pass the autumn-winter period. Pursuant to the contract, Ukraine can buy up to 114 mln cubic meters of Russian gas per day, thus it will take around 2 months to pump gas needed.
Novak also said Russia has provided Ukraine with all necessary conditions for buying Russian gas and pumping it into its underground gas storage facilities, thus there are no economy-related obstacles to it. He added that implementation of the current contracts on Ukraine’s purchases of Russian gas and its transit to Europe does not require signing any additional protocols by the two sides.
The Minister also said Russia does not consider new gas discounts for Ukraine. "No, [a new] discount for Ukraine in the third quarter is not considered," he said. "No new decisions are required on that matter. This is a balanced decision taken at the turn of the last quarter, in late June," he added.
The trilateral gas meeting is provisionally scheduled to late September, Novak said. He did not indicate accurate dates, adding this would depend on the agreement with the other meeting participants, Ukraine and the European Commission. "We agreed in principle [to hold the meeting] in the third quarter. Therefore no additional consultations are required. Ukraine may purchase any quantity of gas it prepays at a price fixed for Ukraine subject to the given discount," Novak said.