Brussels expects clear commitments from Moscow, Kyiv to achieve progress on concluding new contract for transit of Russian gas to EU since 2020
Ukraine, the European Union and Russia will discuss further steps to agree on a new contract for the transit of Russian gas through Ukraine to the EU from 2020, with Brussels expecting the parties to take firm commitments to make progress on this issue.
The 2nd round of political trilateral talks with Russia and Ukraine on the future of gas transit via Ukraine will take place on Monday 21st January 2019 in Brussels. The meeting will take place with the participation of Vice-President responsible for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič, Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and Mr Andriy Kobolev, CEO of Naftogaz on the Ukrainian side and Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Mr Alexander Medvedev, Deputy Chairman of Gazprom on the Russian side, the European Commission reported.
"I welcome very much that both sides have agreed to come to Brussels for the second round of negotiations at ministerial level. I welcome also the presence of top representatives of the two incumbent gas companies. Exactly six months have passed since we met in this format for the first time in Berlin. A couple of talks at senior expert level have taken place since then and it is time to take stock of where we are in the process and discuss the way forward on the key parameters agreed in Berlin. We need a strong commitment by the two sides to advance in the talks, given that the existing transit contract expires at the end of this year," Šefčovič said before the talks.
The trilateral meeting starts at 3:00 p.m., preceded by bilateral meetings between Vice-President Šefčovič and each of the ministers.
It is expected that the parties will discuss the results of the trilateral negotiations at the technical level, which took place after the first round of political negotiations held in Berlin on July 17, the agreement between the Russian Federation and Ukraine on the compatibility of transit system operators, the current state of gas supplies to the EU and the next steps.
At present time, two rounds of technical negotiations have already been taken place, but representatives of the Russian side have not arrived at any of them; progress in negotiations is negligible.
As it is known, the term of the current contract, which was signed in 2009, expires at the end of this year. In addition, the legislative field has significantly changed, in particular, the EU has adopted the Third Energy Package, and the Ukrainian side has pledged to apply European energy legislation in full.
Ukraine and the European side, which mediates in these negotiations, insist that the new transit contract fully complies with European legislation.