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Ukraine plans to double gas transit tariff -- energy ministry

Ukraine is confident that the gas transit tariff should be raised two-fold, Ukraine's Energy and Coal Industry Minister Vladimir Demchishin said on Wednesday.

"The present-day rate is at $2.88 per 100 km. While comparing the figure with tariffs in other states, I realise that it may be raised to $5.5 [per 100 km]," the minister said.

"I think that it will be rather difficult to negotiate such a tariff. But the goal I'm setting is to increase the [transit] tariff by at least 30%. This is my personal aim," Demchishin said.

The minister confirmed that representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the European Union will gather in Brussels on March 20 to discuss supplies of Russia's gas to Ukraine in the summer period.

In his words, European Commission Vice-President for Energy Maros Sefcovic will chair the meeting, which will be attended by representatives of Russia's gas giant Gazprom, Ukraine's national company Naftogaz Ukrainy and related ministers.

According to Demchishin, Ukraine also plans to discuss transit of Russia's natural gas to Europe via Ukraine.

Earlier in the day Ukraine's Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said, "Ukraine's government does not plan to exclude Russia from the list of its natural gas suppliers." "We hope to reach an agreement on summer gas supplies. The idea is to fill up our gas storages in summer. The second issue is to agree on switching to gas exports from the EU countries", Yatsenyuk said.

Ukraine to negotiate post-payment for Russian gas, price below $270

According to the minister, during Brussels' talks on March 20, Ukraine plans negotiate post-payment for Russian gas supplies and a decline in gas delivery price.

"If Ukraine manages to cut over to the post-payment gas import from Russia and Moscow demonstrates its readiness to do so, Ukraine will be ready to start purchasing fixed gas amounts. Otherwise, we will try to keep the existing rules [of gas import to the republic]," the minister said, adding, that his country was rather satisfied with the conditions of so-called "winter package", when it can buy through pre-payment necessary gas amounts. In his words, the pre-payment regime allows Kiev not to fix gas amounts.

According to Demchishin, "the talks [in Brussels] will focus on the gas price and gas transit tariff." Ukraine hopes for the decline in gas price. "Now, gas price is below $273 per 1,000 cubic metres on Europe's spot market," he said, adding that with this in mind Ukraine hopes that new gas price will be below $270 per 1,000 cubic metres.

[Source: Itar Tass, Kiev, 11Mar15]

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