Gazprom Chief Miller Joins Gas Talks with Ukraine, EU

Russian gas giant Gazprom’s CEO, Alexei Miller, has arrived at the venue for trilateral transit gas talks between Russia, the European Union and Ukraine, TASS reports.

The head of Gazprom has declined to comment on the meeting’s progress prior to its opening. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Vice President of the European Commission Maros Sefcovic have already started the talks on the conditions of future Russian gas transit through Ukraine.

“We have a constructive attitude and hope that all parties will discuss in this course,” the minister said after the morning talks while choosing not to articulate Russia’s proposals on transit volumes at the time.

The trilateral meeting was scheduled to begin Tuesday afternoon Moscow time.

The need to hold negotiations arose primarily because two contracts signed in 2009 by and between Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine on gas supplies to Ukraine and gas transit to Europe will expire at the turn of 2019. The issue of maintaining Russian gas transit after 2019 is also discussed in the context of the planned construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline.

The European Commission’s vice president said before that Ukraine is ready to offer a beneficial tariff to Gazprom for gas transit after 2020 but the delivery volume shall be “commercially feasible.”

Gazprom’s chief Alexei Miller said before that the Russian gas giant is ready to hold talks with Naftogaz of Ukraine to keep the gas transit via Ukraine totaling 10-15 billion cubic meters per year if Ukraine proves the feasibility of the new contract.