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European Commission does not expect problems with gas supplies via Ukraine this winter

The European Commission is in frequent contact with both parties to make sure "the winter goes smoothly"

DAVOS, January 19. /TASS/. The European Commission does not expect problems with the supply of gas to the European Union via Ukraine this winter, Vice President of the European Commission in charge of Energy Union Maros Sefcovic told TASS on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

"I don't expect any problems with supplies of gas through Ukraine to Europe. We are in frequent contact with both parties to check the situation and to make sure the winter goes smoothly," he said.

Sefcovic told TASS earlier that the European Commission will continue monitoring the situation with gas transit through Ukraine. "So far the date of the new negotiations is not set, but we are on the phone quite frequently with Alexander Novak (Russia’s Energy Minister - TASS). We will see what will be the situation because we are in close contact with both parties, and we will be monitoring the gas transit," Sefcovic said.

Russia, the European Union and Ukraine discussed supplies of Russian gas to Ukraine and its transit to the EU this winter at a meeting in Brussels on December 9 but the talks did not result in any concrete agreements.

The parties agreed to continue contacts. In particular, Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine are to hold consultations that will concern purchases of additional 1.504 blm cubic meters of Russian gas.

Ukraine and Russia have serious disagreement on gas issue. Head of Naftogaz Andrew Kobolev said earlier that the company is ready to buy Russian gas if a supplementary agreement to the main contract is signed. One of the provisions of that agreement is that Kiev makes prepayment only for the volumes of gas it needs. Russian Energy Minister was adamant and said that the transportation of gas will be strictly in accordance with the contract, and in Brussels the parties will only discuss the needs, volumes and terns of deliveries, but not revision of the contract or signing of an additional agreement.