Brussels proposes Moscow and Kiev to hold trilateral gas talks

Brussels proposes Moscow and Kiev to hold trilateral gas talks

European Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic proposed Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak to hold trilateral gas talks with Ukraine in Brussels.

Alexander Novak confirmed this information. "We’ve discussed the implementation of current contracts, and agreed to have a separate trilateral meeting with the Ukrainian side’s representative, Sefcovic," TASS cited him as saying.

According to Novak, at the meeting the sides plan to discuss extra volumes of gas supplies to Ukraine within the current contracts for passing the winter season. "The key issue is reliable gas transit to Europe during winter season, considering that the season started earlier this year and winter is expected to be colder," Novak said.

Novak said Russia will act strictly in accordance with the gas supply contract with Ukraine. "We expect that our Ukrainian partners will act within the framework of existing take or pay contracts," he  added.

Novak said that Sefcovic has assured him that Ukraine has funds for the purchase of gas and Ukraine will receive additional funds in the near future.

Russia’s Energy Minister and European Commission Vice-President also discussed the Nord Stream 2 and Turkish Stream natural gas pipeline projects, as well as Yamal Europe.

 "In my view, the talks were quite fruitful, and we’re ready to provide more information to our colleagues from the European Union about the viability, economic first of all, about the need to implement those projects," he said.

An associate professor of the Graduate School of Corporate Management of RANEPA, Ivan Kapitonov, speaking with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza, said that initiative of the European Commission means that Europe plans to become a mediator in the negotiations between Russia and Ukraine on gas supplies, which Ukraine needs now.

According to him, the talks which were held in Moscow also showed that they will continue to block decisions on the Nord Stream-2. "And no logical continuation of construction in order to give Ukraine the opportunity to receive money from the remaining transit, is not expected in the future," the associate professor of the Graduate School of Corporate Management of RANEPA noted.

Kapitonov reminded about the recent breakthrough when Russia had the opportunity to use the entire capacity of the OPAL pipeline in Germany. "As a result, we are able to give up two-thirds of the gas supply capacity through Ukraine. The Ukrainian side's legal requirement to increase in the cost of transit, which they have put forward to us a long time ago was logical," the expert said.

He suggested that Kiev could even seek compensation for past transit fees.

"In general, this visit stressed once again that the Ukrainian side, despite the change of the US leadership, still enjoys strong support in Europe," Ivan Kapitonov concluded.