NEW YORK, October 7 (RIA Novosti) - Significant deliveries of US gas to Ukraine are impossible until the end of the current decade, US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz has said.
"First of all, our natural gas exports will not really start until 2015, or probably maybe early 2016, and certainly to reach significant proportions … that's clearly the end of the decade," the official said.
Answering the question whether the United States could help Ukraine decrease the dependency on Russian gas, Moniz said "there is no quick fix there."
He added that a number of international experts from the G7 nations and the European Union are currently aiding Kiev to resolve the problems with energy supply for the upcoming winter.
"Looking at the facts on the ground, the issues are unfortunately challenging … Even if Russian gas flows this winter, let's say, uninterrupted … the fact [is] that there has been such extensive damage to infrastructure that it will still be difficult [to provide] energy services well," the Energy Secretary noted, adding that the United States is trying to figure out how to quickly improve fuel substitution possibilities for Ukraine's existing systems.
In June, Russia's Gazprom introduced a prepayment system for gas deliveries to Ukraine due to Kiev's massive gas debt, which is currently estimated at $5.3 billion.
According to preliminary arrangements, Russia and Ukraine are expected to sign the so-called "winter package" on Russian gas deliveries to Ukraine that envisions supply of five billion cubic meters of gas within half a year and with a possible increase in volume. The price for 1,000 cubic meters of gas would stand at $385 for this period.
Kiev, however, rejects Russia's offer of the discount in the form of an export-duty exemption and wants the contract price to be reduced instead.
The European Union has repeatedly highlighted the importance of trilateral talks over the gas issue, fearing of potential troubles with gas transit via Ukraine.
Russian Minister of Energy Aleksander Novak has said the date of the next trilateral meeting on the issue between Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission would be agreed on Tuesday.