European Commission confirms plans to hold trilateral gas talks on gas June 9
Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Naftogaz CEO Andrei Kobolev, who held talks on disputable issues last week, will attend the meeting, says a press release, circulated in Brussels on Sunday, Interfax reports.
The European Union hopes Russia and Ukraine at the tripartite meeting will be able to achieve a compromise in gas, without going to court, a source at the European institutions in Brussels told Itar-Tass on Sunday.
"Right now we are finalizing organization of another tripartite meeting in Brussels on June 9 afternoon, where will participate Commissioner Oettinger, minister of energy of Russia Alexander Novak and his Ukrainian counterpart Yuri Prodan," the source said, adding the meeting would feature also representatives of Gazprom and Naftogaz.
"The European Commission is aimed at achieving a compromising agreement, which at any times is preferable than any legal action. A court may last for quite a time, and we cannot afford risking the energy supplies to Europe for the term of legal actions," the source said.
Earlier on Sunday, an official representative of Russia’s ministry of energy said a tripartite meeting featuring representatives of the European Union, Ukraine and Russia was due in Brussels on Monday.
The source said the meeting’s agenda would include gas prices for Ukraine, and by June 10 the Ukrainian side was expected to settle all the issues of the overdue payments.
The previous round of tripartite talks was held in Brussels on June 2. They were attended by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, European Commissioner for Energy Guenther Oettinger, as well as Ukrainian parliament-appointed Minister of Energy and Coal Industry Yuri Prodan. The talks focused on Ukraine’s debt. The parties agreed not to suspend gas supplies till the next round of tripartite consultations.
On Tuesday, June 3, Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine agreed to negotiate bilaterally, without further mediation by the EU. Ukraine insists on the recalculation of its debt for the gas supplied in 2013 on the basis of a discounted price of $268.5 per 1,000 cubic meters for January-March.
The next trilateral meeting on gas between representatives of Russia, the EU and Ukraine will take place on June 9 in Brussels, a source in the Russian Ministry of Energy told RIA Novosti. "The next trilateral meeting on gas will be held in Brussels on Monday", an agency spokesperson said, she did not specify what issues would be discussed.
The source also made no comment about whether the companies involved had reached agreement on prices or paying off the gas debt.
On Tuesday, June 10, the deadline, set by Gazprom, for the Ukrainian side to resolve issues regarding payment for delivered Russian gas, expires. If agreement is not reached, a prepayment regime will be introduced and, respectively on June 11, gas deliveries to Ukraine may be cut off.
However, Ukraine is expected to settle the issue with debts, ITAR-TASS news agency reports citing a source in the Russian Ministry of Energy.
Russia is ready to reduce its gas supplies to Europe in the event of unlawful reverse gas flow deals with Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday. "If we see that anyone [in Europe] is violating our gas supply contracts, then we will reduce the amounts [of gas], and then the de-facto quantity of gas on the European market will simply not be sufficient," the Russian president said, highlighting the high risk of non-payment (by Ukraine) as the second problem.
Last month, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia had no complaints against Slovakia in regard to preparing to reverse gas deliveries back to Ukraine saying, "The way Slovak governing bodies are dealing with it does not violate any agreements with "Gazprom" or the Russian government"
Currently Kiev owes Russia about $1.5 billion for November-December deliveries which sold at the old price of $268 per 1,000 cubic meters.
Russia has not received any payments for April-May deliveries at the current price of $485 per 1,000 cubic meters estimated at $3 billion.
Kiev has recently paid Gazprom $786.4 million for gas deliveries in February and March, which, according to Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan, constituted the only undisputed arrears.