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Russia, EU, Ukraine to set date of new meeting on gas next week

BRUSSELS, October 4. /TASS/. Russia, the European Commission and Ukraine will make a decision on the date and place of another trilateral meeting on gas next week, the European Commission said on Friday to repeat word for word the statement Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak had made in Moscow earlier.

The process of coordinating the implementation of the protocol (of the latest ministerial trilateral meeting) held in Berlin on September 26 is continuing and the date and place of the next meeting are to be set next week, European energy commissioner Gunther Oettinger’s press-service said after consultations with Aleksandr Novak and Yuri Prodan, held over the past few days.

Earlier, Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak told TASS in Moscow that a date of the next trilateral meeting on gas will be set after October 7.

“At the moment, in accordance with the agreements achieved in Berlin on September 26 the process of coordinating the protocol is in progress. The date of the next meeting will be determined after October 7,” Novak said.

Earlier, Ukrainian Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuri Prodan said after talks in Brussels that Ukraine was prepared to negotiate the gas dispute with Russia.

“We are ready to have a meeting as soon as tomorrow. We’ve got to come to terms and seek compromise solutions,” Prodan said.

Russia and Ukraine are to present their vision of ways of settling the gas dispute to the European Commission by October 7, Prodan said.

The EC will then try to put the proposals received from both sides together into one protocol. At the same time Prodan acknowledged “there are many disagreements, including the question who should put signatures to the protocol.”

Kiev is insisting on a revision of the contract for the transit of Russian gas to the European Union through Ukrainian territory, Prodan said.

“The process of revising the transit contract will surely take place, because that contract today does not match the European standards,” he claimed.

Prodan said Kiev was perfectly aware that this issue “cannot be pegged to the resumption of supplies and this is physically impossible until their beginning this year.”

“But we would like all sides, in the first place, Gazprom, to react to these proposals and to agree with them,” Prodan said.