MOSCOW, October 9 (RIA Novosti) - Kiev hopes to hold additional discussions with the European Commission to reach consensus on gas issues before the new round of trilateral gas talks takes place, Ukraine's Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said Thursday.
"As far as I understand, the meeting with Oettinger [Vice-President of the EU Commission] may take place here in Kiev, because last time I invited him to come to Ukraine to hold talks with us. I think, prior to this trilateral meeting, the vice president may come to Ukraine, and we will review our positions and search for a compromise on this issue," Prodan said at a briefing.
A representative of the European Commission told RIA Novosti that Gunther Oettinger had suggested that the meeting with Prodan in Kiev could take place October 19-20.
The sides are currently debating the date of the next round of gas talks. The European Commission suggested on Thursday that the next round of trilateral gas talks be held in Berlin October 21, which has been supported by Ukraine. Russia has not provided any comment on the proposal yet but earlier on Tuesday, Russia’s Minister of Energy Aleksander Novak said that the date of the next Russia-Ukraine-European Union gas talks may be announced “in the next day or two.” Novak also added that Russia is ready to meet on any proposed day, but the date should be agreed by all the sides.
During a ministerial gas meeting in Berlin on September 26, Moscow and the European Commission proposed the so-called winter package, the deal that would seek Ukraine pay $3.1 billion of its debt to Russia by the end of the year in exchange for gas deliveries during winter months at $385 per 1,000 cubic meters.
Ukraine is not satisfied with the package saying it wants to agree the debt repayment schedule, as well as terms and schedules of future gas deliveries and insists on amending the current gas contract with Russia in order to formally authorize reverse deliveries of Russian gas to Ukraine from Europe.