At talks in Brussels between the European Union, Russia and Ukraine on natural gas issues and supplies, European Commssion Vice-President Günther Oettinger built on his Berlin proposals and presented ways to secure gas supplies to Europe and the Ukraine during the winter season, the EC said in an October 21 statement.
Oettinger said: “We made another step towards a possible solution and are close to an agreement on important elements. Others still need to be addressed, such as the financial gap.”
The following cornerstones are undisputed, according to the EC:
Debts: Ukraine would settle its debts based on a preliminary price of $268,5/ 1000m3 by making payments in two tranches: 1,45 billion $ by the end of October and $1.65 billion by the end of the year.
New gas: Ukraine will pay $385/ 1000 cu m for gas to be delivered this winter without being subject to take-or-pay obligations. The exact volume has not been agreed yet. Russia will deliver the gas following advanced, monthly payments by Ukraine.
Transit fees: Russia guarantees the payment of the transit fees.
A new round of talks is envisaged for October 29 2014 in Brussels. Until then, the EU and Ukraine will explore ways how to close the financial gap.
A winter package is necessary as both Ukraine and Russia have referred the dispute to the international arbitration court in Stockholm and a final decision on the price and the debt is only expected next year.