Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said that talks between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union on gas transit could take place next week, reports TASS.
The meeting was initially scheduled for December 5. However, Ukrainian Energy Ministry confirmed that this round of negotiations will not take place. The Ukrainian Ministry noted that "the date has not yet been confirmed."
According to Novak, the parties can meet "at any time." The primary condition is that Gazprom and Naftogaz prepare the papers necessary for the conclusion of the agreement. At the same time, companies must resolve the issues of a "debt settlement" and "litigation," said Russian Energy Minister. "The most important thing is that the parties should have the goal in mind," he said.
On January 1, 2020, the current 10-year gas transit contract between Naftogaz of Ukraine and the Russian gas monopoly Gazprom will expire.
With the help of the European Commission, Ukraine has been trying to get Gazprom to sign a new 10-year contract for the transit of up to 90 billion cubic meters per year. However, Naftogaz is skeptical whether it will be signed, and Vitrenko said that the company should prepare for gas transit to stop in 2020.
In 2020, Russia expects to complete the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which will enable it to minimize its use of Ukraine’s gas transportation system.