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    Russian Energy Minister Expects Three-Way Gas Meeting to Produce Written Agreement

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    Earlier, the leaders of Russia, Ukraine, Germany and France took part in the talks on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Milan discussing gas issues and, primarily, the repayments of Ukraine'd debts and the security of gas transit through Ukraine's territory.

    Updated 1:46 p.m. Moscow time

    BRUSSELS, October 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Tuesday he expected a gas meeting of Russia, Ukraine and the European Union in Brussels to produce a written agreement.

    “The agreements were reached in Milan. We expect to put them on paper today,” the minister said ahead of the talks.

    On October 20, the European Union's Foreign Affairs Council emphasized the urgency of reaching an agreement on Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine for the upcoming winter. The Council said the agreement was crucial for safeguarding the supply and transit security of Russian gas in winter.

    Ukraine's state oil and gas company Naftogaz said that the agreement should clearly state volumes of gas Russia would deliver to Ukraine and Ukraine's payments. The parties should also agree to prohibit unilateral amendments to the gas contract, according to Naftogaz.

    Ukraine is facing the approaching winter with low natural gas reserves. In June, Russian energy giant Gazprom switched Ukraine to a prepayment system for gas deliveries in light of its gas debt of more than $5 billion.

    Following a summit in Milan on October 17, both Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko stated that progress has been made on the gas deliveries issue. French President Francois Hollande said that an agreement between Russia and Ukraine was now "truly within reach."

    Tags:
    gas, European Union, Russian Energy Ministry, Alexander Novak, Brussels, Milan
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