Russia set for gas talks in Kiev
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[June 14, 2014]
KIEV (Reuters) - Ukrainian
and Russian delegations prepared for gas pricing talks
in Kiev expected later on Saturday in an attempt to
avert possible supply cuts to Ukraine and interruption
of onward flows to Europe - two days before a payment
A spokesman for Russia's top natural gas producer Gazprom said it
was preparing to resume talks with Ukraine. A Ukrainian government
source said that delegations from Russia and the European Commission
were due in Kiev on Saturday."We are ready to seek compromise, but
it is useless to put pressure on us," Gazprom's spokesman Sergei
Gazprom has said that Ukraine should pay $1.95 billion, a part of
its debt for Russian gas supplies, by Monday, June 16, or face a
prepayment regime and possible gas supply cuts. The move could
disrupt supplies to the European Union where Russia meets a third of
Around a half of Russian gas exports to Europe goes via pipelines in
The Ukrainian government source said: "The arrival of the
representatives of the European Commission is already confirmed and
now we are waiting for confirmation from the Russian side."
The EU's energy commissioner, Guenther Oettinger, has been mediating
Gazprom's Kupriyanov said the meeting in Kiev would be held in "a
new format, different from the previous consultations". He declined
Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan proposed on Friday starting a
new round of talks in Kiev or, failing that, in another European
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Russia initially demanded at the talks that Ukraine should pay $485
per 1,000 cubic metres of gas but then offered to remove the export
duty, a move that would cut the price to $385 - around the average
amount paid by Russia's European clients.
Ukraine had held out for $268.5 until Friday, when it said it was
ready to pay $326 for an interim period of 18 months while a
long-term price was worked out.
Russian energy authorities said last week that the price of $385 was
final and the Ukrainian government has told the energy sector to
prepare for Russian gas cuts from Monday.
(Reporting by Pavel Polityuk, editing by Timothy Heritage and
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