Although Ukraine has confirmed its readiness to buy 1.5-4 billion cubic meters of Russian gas this winter and Moscow said it was ready to ensure exports to Ukraine and the E.U., no final deal was reached during the talks, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak reported.
“The Ukrainian side has expressed its readiness to buy 1.5-4 billion cubic meters of gas in the winter period to ensure reliable supplies to Ukrainian consumers and transit to European consumers. Russia and Gazprom confirmed readiness to supply Russian gas to Ukraine in the framework of the existing contract, which will be in effect until 2020”, Novak said.
Moscow and Kiev will continue the talks, but they have no price disagreements as they have agreed that the Russian gas price for December, defined by the contract’s formula, was competitive and lower than the current prices on the spot market. Russia, Ukraine and the E.U. will continue contacts on the gas issues, and Gazprom and Ukraine’s energy holding Naftogaz Ukrainy are to hold consultations in the first place.
Naftogaz Ukrainy said on its Facebook page that the sides had failed to sign an additional agreement to the contract, which was crucial for Kiev’s purchases of gas, as it would eliminate critical risks for Ukraine. CEO Andrei Kobolev also said that Ukraine saw purchases of Russian gas impossible without the agreement, but hoped to sign it in the future.
European Commission Vice President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic said that Russia, Ukraine and the E.U. were very close to signing the agreement during the meeting, but the deal’s format was yet to be discussed, and the E.U. was ready to mediate further talks between Moscow and Kiev.
Under the previous winter package, Naftogaz Ukrainy bought 2 billion cubic meters of gas from Gazprom for $500 million it borrowed with the help of the European Commission. Ukraine stopped purchasing Russian gas on November 25, 2015. The companies signed additional agreements that suspend the take-or-pay condition for Ukraine under all previous winter packages. (Prime/Business World Magazine)