Updated 2:43 p.m. Moscow Time
ATYRAU (Kazakhstan), September 30 (RIA Novosti) – Russia is ready to implement the “winter plan” of delivering natural gas to Ukraine and is waiting for Kiev’s reaction, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Tuesday.
“It all depends on Ukraine. I believe that from our side we are practically ready to do everything that we agreed on in regard to this packet. We’ll wait for a reaction from Ukraine in the next few days when everything becomes clear,” Novak told journalists.
The “winter gas packet” is due to be sent to the Russian government for approval soon.
“First, the three parties [Russia, Ukraine, EU] need to agree during the trilateral consultations, then we’ll be able to talk about the next steps: putting it on the government’s agenda,” Novak said.
Earlier, Novak said the next trilateral gas talks were scheduled to take place in Berlin on October 2-3.
In June, Russian gas giant Gazprom introduced a prepayment system for gas deliveries to Ukraine over Kiev's refusal to pay off its gas debt that currently is in excess of $5 billion.
Gazprom's head, Alexey Miller, said that Russia insisted that Ukraine pay $2 billion of its total debt in October and another $1.1 billion by the end of the year.
Ukraine's Minister of Energy Yuri Prodan said that Ukraine would first make an advance payment of $1.9 billion for the future delivery of five billion cubic meters of gas and then pay another $1.5 billion, as part of the debt, at the end of October, followed by $800 million in November and December.
The European Union has repeatedly emphasized the importance of trilateral gas talks, fearing possible troubles with gas transit to Europe via Ukraine.