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Russia-Ukraine gas talks in Vienna lasting over six hours

Moscow and Kiev announced that a new gas transit contract was agreed for the term of five years

MOSCOW, December 28. /TASS/. Russia and Ukraine have been negotiating fulfillment of gas transit agreements for over six hours already, a representative of Russia’s Gazprom told reporters on Saturday.

"The talks are continuing," he said without specifying the expected time of the end of the meeting.

On December 20, Moscow and Kiev announced that a new gas transit contract was agreed for the term of five years, and that mutual settlements between Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine were settled. The parties agreed to waive new mutual claims and withdraw existing mutual claims. Gazprom should pay around $2.9 bln to Naftogaz by the year-end under the decision made by the Stockholm Arbitration. Moreover, an amicable settlement was agreed on antitrust proceedings against Gazprom in Ukraine. On Friday, Gazprom reported that the amount had been paid to Naftogaz.

Earlier on Saturday the Ukrainian government approved signing of an amicable agreement with Gazprom. The amicable agreement settles the claims of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine against Russia's Gazprom amounting to around $7 bln. Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said earlier this week that the sides would sign an amicable agreement on December 19, after which all claims would be withdrawn and attachments of Gazprom’s property in Europe would be lifted. Moreover, the agreements stipulate that Gazprom will sign an interconnection agreement with ‘Gas Transmission System Operator of Ukraine’, and a transport agreement on booking the Ukrainian gas transport system’s facilities with Naftogaz of Ukraine. Naftogaz will act as organizer of transit thus taking the transit period risks.

The agreement stipulates the minimum level of pumped gas of 65 bln cubic meters in 2020 and 40 bln cubic meters each year in the period between 2021 and 2024.