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EU suggests Russia, Ukraine sign interim gas agreement
The E.U. has suggested an interim agreement on the gas supplies between Russia and Ukraine without waiting for a Stockholm arbitrary court decision, E.U. Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said in a news conference following his meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko late Tuesday.
Two cases are before the Stockholm court, but the hearings will take 12-15 months, which is too long, while Europe needs an interim solution for this winter, Oettinger said.
In June, Russian gas giant Gazprom switched Ukraine off gas over the unpaid debt and filed a $4.5 billion suit to the Stockholm arbitration court. Later, Kiev reciprocated by sending a suit to the court against Gazprom for making Ukraine overpay $6 billion for gas since 2010, setting too high prices in its contract.
Oettinger also said the restart of the trilateral talks between the sides in September can "lay a basis for the activation of the political efforts on solving the conflict." He also confirmed that he will discuss the restart of trilateral gas talks on Friday with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak.
The date of the trilateral gas talks of Russia, Ukraine, and the E.U. has not been set yet, a spokesperson for the Energy Ministry said Wednesday. "The exact date will be announced later," the spokesperson said.
Poroshenko's press service said that the talks could take place on September 6. Ukraine's Energy and Coal Industry Minister Yuriy Prodan said separately that they could take place in Berlin or Brussels.
[Source: Itar Tass, Minsk, Moscow and Kiev, 27Aug14]
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