MOSCOW, September 27 (RIA Novosti) - The next trilateral talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission over the standing issues surrounding gas will take place on October 2 or 3, Aleksander Novak, Russia's Minister of Energy, stated.
"First, we are currently drawing up the proposals that were presented to all the parties for uniform understanding. Sometimes it happens that what is understood orally is interpreted in writing somewhat differently. This will be done in the next few days. The Ukrainian side, the Russian side and the European Commission will each receive it [the written agreement]. We have agreed that we will meet to discuss the final package either Thursday or Friday next week,"- Novak said in an interview with the TV channel Russia-24.
What is to be decided upon is the supply of five billion cubic meters of gas within half a year and with a possible increase in volume. The temporary price for 1,000 cubic meters of gas will be $385 for this period.
In an interview with Russia-24, Aleksei Miller, Head of Russia's Gazprom, stated that upon the close of the trilateral talks in Berlin it became evident that the positions of the sides diverted when it came to Ukraine paying off the gas debt, currently standing at $5.3 billion.
According to Miller, Russia continues to insist that Ukraine first pay off $2 billion from the total debt in October. Only then will Gazprom be able to immediately commence gas supplies to Ukraine. He also added that another $1.1 billion Ukraine has to clear by the end of the year and that the sum of the $3.1 billion was presented to Ukraine by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
In the meantime, Ukraine's Minister of Energy Yuri Prodan said that Ukraine would first make an advance payment for the future five billion cubic meters of gas constituting $1.9 billion. Another $1.5 billion, as part of the debt, Ukraine will pay off at the end of October, followed by $800 million in November and December each for the unsettled debt.
On September 26, the sides met in Berlin to discuss the existing issues relating to gas. According to preliminary arrangements, Russia and Ukraine will have to sign the so-called winter package of documents on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine that were cut off in mid-June.