Russia, Ukraine to Resume EU-sponsored Talks on New Gas Deal in September

The vice president of the European Commission for energy matters Maros Sefcovic told a European Parliament session on Thursday that trilateral talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission over a new gas transit deal will resume in September, Kommersant writes.

“I just would like to inform you that the next trilateral talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission under my chairmanship will resume already in September,” the official said. “I will do my utmost personally to make sure that there will be a continuation of long-term gas transit through Ukraine for the next long-term period,” Sefcovic noted.

The latest ministerial meeting in the Russia-EU-Ukraine format on gas transit was held in Brussels on January 21. There the parties failed to reach understanding on the issue of Ukrainian gas transit and on mutual claims of the Russian gas holding Gazprom and Ukraine’s Naftogaz.

Last month, Russia signaled that its conditions for the continuation of its natural gas transit via the territory of Ukraine after 2019 are “economically profitable conditions” and a “just decision of court disputes” between the two gas monopolies.

The current gas transit deal, a subject of geopolitical controversy and numerous court battles and arbitrations between Gazprom and Naftogaz, expires at the end of this year.

“We are ready to maintain it based on the economically beneficial conditions and the just settlement of all court disputes between Gazprom and Naftogaz,” Sergei Prikhodko, First Deputy Head of the Russian government office, told journalists.