BRUSSELS, October 5. /TASS/. There are no elements on the table for Russia, EU and Ukraine to hold talks on a new winter gas package, Russia’s ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said in an interview with the Brussels-based media platform EurActiv.
"A package by definition is something consisting of several issues packed together. A year ago, and two years ago, the issues were three [Kiev’s debt, the price and the volumes and procedures for gas supply]. Today, I don’t see any of the three elements being on the table." Chizhov said.
"That part of the debt issue has been settled, Ukraine has stopped buying Russian gas last November, almost a year ago, which in turn makes the issue of price irrelevant," he added.
Russia’s ambassador said he could "understand the concerns of the EU and of the Commission, they calculate that should there be harsh winter, or even a mild winter, Ukraine will not be able to live without Russian gas, and only of gas brought by reverse procedures, which basically is also Russian gas. But at a higher price," Chizhov noted.
Commenting on the European Commission Vice-President in charge of energy policy Maros Sefcovic’s statement, who said that Ukraine had saved a lot of money thanks to reverse flows, Chizhov pointed out that "they saved money because they consumed less. The prices for households increased more than three-fold."
This year the European Commission has tried several times to raise the question of the resumption of trilateral gas talks between Russia, the EU and Ukraine, for fear that in winter Ukraine may once again start taking gas from the pipeline transferring gas to the EU as it had done in 2006 and 2009. On October 14 Maros Sefcovic is expected to visit Moscow to hold consultations on the gas issue, he intends to raise the question of a new round of trilateral talks. Meanwhile, Russia says that Ukraine can purchase Russian gas at current prices on a prepayment basis, but without additional benefits.