MOSCOW, August 25 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger will meet in Moscow Friday to discuss Russian gas deliveries to Europe, the Russian Energy Ministry said in a statement Monday.
“Safe transit of Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine, legal and technical aspects of the South Stream project, Gazprom’s access to the full capacity of the OPAL pipeline and issues related to the continuation of the Russia-EU Energy Dialogue will become the main topics for the discussion,” the ministry said in a statement.
On June 16, Russian gas giant Gazprom introduced a prepayment system for gas deliveries to Ukraine amid a dispute with Kiev over its $4.5 billion gas debt. The European Commission and Gazprom anticipate problems in winter, when Kiev is likely to run out of its own gas reserves.
The Russian compromise was a $100 discount to the contract price, bringing it down to $385, as well as a phased debt repayment scheme. Ukraine declined the offer, dissatisfied with the discount mechanism. Current Ukraine’s gas debt is estimated to be more than $5 billion.
Earlier, Ukrainian national oil and gas company Naftogaz suggested to European companies purchasing Russian gas on the border between Russia and Ukraine. The European Commission said it would require a renegotiation of the transit contracts and a trilateral meeting between the European Commission, Russia and Ukraine.
On August 11, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko discussed the possibility of resuming gas talks between Ukraine, Russia and the European Union with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.