Another round of trilateral Russia-EU-Ukraine gas consultations was held on 26 September in Berlin, resulting in significant progress in settling disputed issues.
The parties reached preliminary agreement on a number of key issues.
Ukraine agreed with its obligation to repay 2 billion US dollars by the end of October 2014, while another 1.1 billion US dollars of debt will be restructured and transferred to Gazprom’s account by the end of the year. As the cumulative debt of Naftogaz to Gazprom amounts to about 5.3 billion US dollars, the remaining part will be settled after the ruling of the Stockholm Court of Arbitration. Furthermore, the possibility of international financial institutions providing bank guarantees of payments by Ukraine will be considered.
Gazprom will supply 5 billion cubic meters of gas to Ukraine under “take-or-pay” condition to allow the country to pass through the autumn and winter period and will provide an option for purchase of additional volumes in case Ukraine needs it. Prepayment will be the condition for all supplies.
Final decisions will be adopted by the governments of Russia and Ukraine. A new meeting will take place in the nearest future.
Summing up, Russian Minister of Energy Alexander Novak said he was overall satisfied with the results: “We are largely satisfied with the details which we have agreed. The position of the Russian side – as we stated it earlier and today – implies repayment of debt for volumes supplied, prepayment for future supplies, as well as debt restructuring. Of course, we still have to elaborate some nuances. After that, we will recommend the Government to approve the final package. I believe we have made a big step forward and there is a possibility to reach agreement”.
The Minister of Energy also noted that the Russian side and the EU have a common position on settling gas issues.