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European Commission ready to moderate in Russia-Ukraine gas talks

October 25, 2016, 14:49 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

A spokesperson says the European Commission has not yet decided on OPAL gas pipeline

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BRUSSELS, October 25. /TASS/. The European Commission (EC) is ready to act as a moderator in gas talks between Russia and Ukraine at any time, EC spokesperson Anna-Kaisa Itkonen said on Tuesday.

"Indeed winter is coming. We stand ready to offer our help to moderate the talks between Russia and Ukraine," Itkonen said.

Vice-President of the European Commission in charge of the Energy Union Maro· ·ef·ovi· already visited Kiev to discuss the opportunity for new talks and also plans to pay a visit to Russia, the EC spokesperson said. "We are currently looking for a date for this visit," Itkonen added.

Regular trilateral consultations among Russia, the European Union and Ukraine on gas supplies to Ukraine and transit to Europe started in May 2014.

OPAL gas pipeline

Itkonen said the EC has not yet made the decision on OPAL gas pipeline.

"We are currently looking into the request sent by Germany. We will take the decision in the course," Itkonen said.

OPAL is a branch pipeline off the Nord Stream-1 that delivers Russian gas to Europe, bypassing transit countries. Through OPAL, gas travels to Germany and then to the German border with the Czech Republic. However, due to the European Commission’s restrictions Gazprom can now utilize only 50% of the OPAL capacity. The increase in the Russian gas volume through OPAL holds key importance for the Nord Stream-2 construction project.

In the mid-July, the European Commission postponed the decision on Gazprom's application to increase gas transport volume through the OPAL pipeline.

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