Ukrainian min says next trilateral gas meeting possible on Thu
KIEV, Dec 2 (PRIME) -- The next ministerial meeting of Russia, Ukraine, and the E.U. over gas disputes may be held on Thursday, Ukrainian Energy Minister Alexei Orzhel said in a briefing on Monday.
“What are the closest dates? I have a hope that it may be held on December 5 preliminary, but the two sides (Ukraine and the E.U.) are ready to do it in any moment,” he said, adding that Russia has not yet confirmed Thursday as a meeting date.
Ukraine hopes that Kiev and Moscow will switch from technical consultations to coordination of the gas supply and transit contracts as soon as possible. Kiev is also ready to accept direct supplies of Russian gas as compensation under the suits that Ukrainian energy holding Naftogaz Ukrainy won over Gazprom in international courts, he said.
“They (the Russian side) are raising the issue about supplies to Ukraine. We consequently raise the issue that there are fixed liabilities at the level of arbitration courts, and if we connect that to supplies, then we will accept deliveries directly connected to compensation for these debts,” he said.
The amount of direct gas deliveries from Russia to Ukraine will depend on Gazprom’s compensations and the transit volume, he said.
“This is an comprehensive issue that the Russian side links with transportation logic, but to reiterate -- the transportation deal is a matrix that defines the term, the amount, and the tariff, while the contract for direct (supplies)…includes compensation, it includes the time and price that are possible if we need to fix the compensation,” he said.
The gas price for Ukraine should be tied to the prices at a European hub, and should be lower. “This will not be a political price, it will not be a discount. It will be a clear price calculated under the European indicator,” he said.
Ukraine wants to sign a long-term transit contract, and will set a high transit tariff, even 20-30 times higher than now, if the contract’s term is one year.
Kiev will not recall its suits against Gazprom from the international arbitration courts if it fails to reach agreements with Moscow over gas contracts, but in case the gas transit continues after January 1, 2020, then Ukraine’s suit over lost earnings will not have grounds or claims under it will be reduced significantly, he said.
He also added that operation of the Ukrainian gas transportation system may have problems in February–March 2020 because of low pressure, if the countries fail to agree on the transit.
In 2018, the Stockholm arbitration court ruled that Gazprom must pay Naftogaz Ukrainy U.S. $2.56 billion for non-shipment of gas. Gazprom appealed against the decision in March and in May demanded the full abolishment of the decision on gas transit. On November 27, Sweden’s Svea Court of Appeal has rejected an appeal of Gazprom under one of the company’s cases against the Ukrainian holding.
Ukraine stopped direct purchases of Russian gas in 2015. The current gas supply and transit contracts between the countries expire at the end of 2019.