VIENNA, December 13. /TASS/. Negotiations on gas transit between Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine in Vienna were successful, the parties continue working, Executive Director of the Ukrainian company Yury Vitrenko told TASS.
"[They were] relatively successful, we continue working," Vitrenko told TASS responding to a question about how the negotiations went.
"We continue our work, which is already a success," he added
The main issue in the agenda was the extension of the contract for gas transit from Russia to Europe through Ukraine after 2019, since the current ten-year agreement expires at the end of this year. Earlier, Yury Vitrenko said that December 13 was the deadline for concluding a contract for the long-term reservation of transit capacities of the Ukrainian gas transmission system.
Previous bilateral talks took place in Vienna on November 28. It involved Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection of Ukraine Aleksey Orzhel, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller, the heads of Naftogaz of Ukraine and the operator of the Gas Transportation System of Ukraine.
It was noted that the parties discussed Russian-Ukrainian cooperation in the gas sector, "the settlement of mutual claims for the execution of contracts, the conditions for the transit of Russian gas to Europe from 2020, the prospects for direct purchase of Russian gas for Ukrainian consumers."
The contract for the supply and transit of gas through Ukraine between Gazprom and Naftogaz expires on December 31, 2019. Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission continue to hold consultations on transit to the EU through Ukrainian territory from 2020, although the dialogue is complicated by legal proceedings between Gazprom and Naftogaz.
Moscow offers a "package solution" that includes a settlement agreement on litigation and direct purchases of gas at reduced rates. As a fallback, Russia is ready to extend the current transit agreement for 2020. Ukraine considers the dismissal of legal claims and the signing of a short-term contract unacceptable.