BRUSSELS, July 14 (RIA Novosti) – Representatives of Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission may hold three-party consultations in August, not July as previously thought, a diplomatic source told journalists.
Brussels earlier expressed hope that the next three-party ministerial meeting on gas issues would be held before the August summer holidays.
The consultations “may take place in August,” the source said.
Russia and the European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, are currently discussing the date of bilateral gas talks, which could result in defining the date for the three-party talks.
Russian Energy Minister Aleksander Novak said earlier he could meet with EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger on July 17-18. The European Commission has not announced the exact date.
On June 16, Gazprom was forced to switch to a prepayment system for gas deliveries to Ukraine after talks on Kiev’s debt repayment and price revisions mediated by Oettinger failed.
Ukraine’s gas debt to Russia started snowballing in 2013, when the country found itself amid a deep political crisis. According to the latest estimates, Ukraine owes Russia $5.3 billion in unpaid bills.