20:33 GMT23 September 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Moscow and Kiev are expected to sign a five year gas-transit contract before the New Year, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak told Sputnik on Friday.

    Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak said that the new Russia-Ukraine 5 year gas-transit contract is expected to be signed before the New Year, noting that Moscow and Kiev have settled their dispute over gas, and that there will no future lawsuits.

    "It will be a new [transit] contract, its key articles for the next five years have been agreed. We will sign the contract before the New Year," Kozak said.

    The deputy prime minister did not clarify what volumes had been specified.

    "The issue has been resolved, there will not be any lawsuits, court arguments, mutual claims anymore," the deputy prime minister said.

    Earlier, the European Commission said that Russia, Ukraine and the European Union had signed a protocol setting out arrangements for long term gas transit via Ukraine.

    "Following the trilateral gas talks between the European Commission, Russia and Ukraine, the three parties agreed on a protocol specifying the arrangements for the long-term transit of Russian gas via Ukraine to Europe as of 1 January 2020. The Protocol was signed by Commission Vice-President Maros Sefcovic, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Ukrainian Energy Minister Oleksij Orzhel," according to the commission statement.

    The protocol sets up a "political framework with the key arrangements," which will help secure a long-term gas-transit contract, Sefcovic remarked after the signing, according to the statement.

    Earlier in the day, a representative of Russian gas giant Gazprom revealed that Russia and Ukraine on Friday had signed the protocols of an agreement on continuing gas transit and settling disputes.

    "Russia and Ukraine signed a protocol on agreements on continuing gas transit via Ukraine and settling the two sides' claims," the representative said.

    The current Russian-Ukrainian gas-transit contract is set to expire on 31 December. In November, Gazprom sent Ukraine's Naftogaz an official proposal to extend the contract or enter into a new one for one year. According to the Russian gas giant, the prerequisite for continued transit is that both sides must give up their lawsuits and claims of antitrust authorities against one another.

    Kiev previously refused to withdraw lawsuits it lodged against Gazprom with international arbitration courts unless it could reach a gas transit and delivery deal with Moscow.

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    Tags:
    disputes, contract, gas, EU, Ukraine, Russia
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