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Russia to Hold Direct Talks with Ukraine on Gas Issue: European Energy Commissioner

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Russia will hold direct talks with Ukraine on the issue of gas supplies next week, European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said Friday, following trilateral gas talks in Berlin.

BERLIN, September 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia will hold direct talks with Ukraine on the issue of gas supplies next week, European Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said Friday, following trilateral gas talks in Berlin.

"Today, we prepared a quality project for the "winter package." And I am sure that this project could get the approval of all participants both in Moscow and Kiev," Oettinger said, adding that Russia's gas giant Gazprom will hold direct talks with Ukraine's Naftogaz next week.

Earlier, Oettinger confirmed that Ukraine commits to pay $3.1 billion to Russia before the end of 2014, with $2 billion expected to be paid by the end of October.

When outlining a plan proposed at the trilateral talks, Oettinger stated that following the initial payment of $2 billion, Russia may supply 5 billion cubic meters of gas to Ukraine at a price of $385 per 1,000 cubic meters.

Ukraine's gas debt to Russia is currently estimated at $5.3 billion.

In June, Russia's gas giant Gazprom introduced a prepayment system for gas deliveries to Ukraine due to Kiev's massive debt.

The European Union has repeatedly highlighted the importance of trilateral talks over the gas issue, fearing of potential troubles with gas transit via Ukraine.

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