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    European Commission Confirms Plans 3-Party Gas Meeting with Russia, Ukraine

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    The European Commission confirmed its intention to hold three-way talks with representatives from Russia and Ukraine, although the date is not set yet, Commission spokeswoman Sabine Berger said Thursday.

    BRUSSELS, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – The European Commission confirmed its intention to hold three-way talks with representatives from Russia and Ukraine, although the date is not set yet, Commission spokeswoman Sabine Berger said Thursday.

    "The aim is to have such a meeting again, but currently no date has been fixed," Berger told journalists.

    The European Commission previously planned to hold another three-party meeting over the gas issue at ministerial level before the traditional August break. Last week a diplomatic source also told RIA Novosti gas consultations could be held in August.

    The talks the took place from April to mid-June but did not yield any results. Kiev insisted on a considerable reduction of the price of Russian gas, refusing to pay its debt, which at that point amounted to $4.5 billion. Russia offered a discount but Ukraine was not pleased with the numbers. On June 16, Gazprom was forced to switch to a prepayment system for gas deliveries to Ukraine after the talks mediated by EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger failed.

    Ukraine’s gas debt to Russia started mounting back in 2013, when the country found itself amid a deep political crisis. According to the latest Gazprom estimates, Ukraine owes Russia $5.3 billion.

    Tags:
    European Union, negotiations, gas, gas debt, Gazprom, Guenther Oettinger, Sabine Berger
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