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Kremlin doubts Kiev’s gas debts to Russia could be settled at four-party talks

April 11, 2014, 19:21 UTC+3 MOSCOW
“It is possible to discuss the gas issue with the United States but it is unproductive, since there is no subject for discussion,” Russian president’s press secretary says
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Russian President Vladimir Putin(R), President's press secretary(L)

Russian President Vladimir Putin(R), President's press secretary(L)

© ITAR-TASS/Mihail Metzel

MOSCOW, April 11. /ITAR-TASS/. The Kremlin doubts that the problem of Kiev’s gas debts to Russia could be solved at four-party talks involving the United States, the European Union, Russia, and Ukraine.

“It is possible to discuss the gas issue with the United States but it is unproductive, since there is no subject for discussion,” Russian president’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists on Friday. “It is possible to discuss it with the European Union, but, again, such discussion will be invalid without participation of contracting countries, since Brussels in no party to the contract. Here there are certain difficulties in forming this dialoguing process.”

At the same time, Peskov noted that the four-party negotiations would furnish the Ukrainian side with an opportunity to inform Russia about its plans to repay its debts.

The idea of a four-party meeting was voiced by US Secretary of State John Kerry and accepted by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The meeting will be tasked to find ways to deescalate the situation in Ukraine. Participants will also discuss a constitutional reform in Ukraine without federalization plans. Russia insists on a format that provides for the involvement of delegates from Ukraine’s southeastern regions. According to Western diplomats, the meeting will be held in Geneva on April 17.

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