Ukrainian gas transit 2019 'not under threat' - German minister
Gas transit via Ukraine is not under threat, German Economic Affairs and Energy Minister Peter Altmeier told a press conference in Berlin.
"I don't think gas transit via Ukraine is under threat - it hasn't been in the past," he said.
The gas talks in Berlin are designed to allow the sides to make their stance and find a way to continue to negotiate in an atmosphere of trust, and "here we have made progress," he said.
"An important point today was that officials from the EU, Ukraine and Russia with Germany's participation discussed the future of gas transit via Ukraine," Altmeier said.
"We talked intensely about finding a solution that is in everybody's interests," he said.
Russia and Ukraine at talks with the German minister agreed to refer the issue of Russian gas transit volumes to Europe via Ukraine to experts for discussion, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.
"We discussed gas transit starting from 2020, the volumes of gas supply that Europe will be consuming in principle. We exchanged opinions [about gas consumption volumes] and agreed that these issues would be discussed separately by experts," he said.
Interfax understands that the purchase of Russian gas by Ukraine was not discussed at the consultations.
Vice-President of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic said the fact that trilateral negotiations between Ukraine, Russia and the European Commission on transit of Russian gas through Ukraine had been organized demonstrated the willingness of the parties to reach an acceptable solution.
Sefcovic said the meeting would serve to determine how frequently talks would take place and the main topics of those talks. He said he would suggest to Russia and Ukraine that a meeting of senior energy experts take place after the summer holidays to decide how to proceed.
He said specific future transit volumes would probably not be discussed on Tuesday: all that will be discussed for now is future dialog and interaction.