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MOSCOW, August 11. /TASS/. The European Commission (EC) does not rule out holding bilateral talks on gas issues with Russia and Ukraine in August in Vienna, a representative of the EC press service told TASS on Tuesday.
"We’re considering the possibility of holding bilateral meetings with Russia and Ukraine," the representative said when answering the question whether gas talks may take place in August in Vienna.
When speaking about the possibility of a meeting with the Russian Energy Ministry for discussing the issue of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline project implementation, the representative said that "there is no information on such a meeting" yet.
On Monday the EC spokeswoman Anna-Kaisa Itkonen told TASS that the EC plans to hold bilateral gas talks with Russia and Ukraine though it cannot confirm any dates yet. "Currently, the European Commission is searching opportunities for holding bilateral meetings with both sides though we cannot confirm any dates yet," she said. Itkonen also did not confirm the announcement made by Ukraine’s minister of energy and coal industry Vladimir Demchishin that the next trilateral gas talks may take place in Vienna in late August. "I cannot confirm it," she said.
Earlier Demchishin said another round of talks on supplies of the Russian natural gas to Ukraine will take place in Vienna on August 27-28. "The bilateral [meeting] will be on 27-28, we and the Europeans will be there for sure," he said. "We hope Russia will join, too." He said Kiev’s intention is to strike a deal by beginning of the new heating season. Meanwhile, he said, "there are still two outstanding political issues." The agreement should be trilateral and the term should be at least to end of the next heating season, he explained. His forecast regarding the gas price for Ukraine is "about $250" for 2 coming quarters.