World / Europe

Russia, Ukraine agree on gas delivery: EU

(Xinhua) Updated: 2015-03-03 19:12

BRUSSELS - Moscow and Kiev have agreed on a gas delivery deal to ensure Ukrainian gas consumption until the end of March, with Ukraine guaranteeing an undisputed transit of gas to the EU, after an EU-brokered trilateral gas talks in Brussels.

"I am satisfied that we managed to safeguard the full application of the Winter Package for the supply needs in Ukraine, " European Commission Vice President responsible for energy Maros Sefcovic, who chaired the trilateral talks, said in a statement late Monday.

Russia asked Ukraine on Friday to complete payment for Russian gas on the day to guarantee gas supplies in March, warning that in line with last October's agreements reached in Brussels, supplies will stop as from Tuesday if no money is received.

"We also agreed to take up trilateral negotiations on the follow-up to the Winter Package. I am reassured that the supply of gas to the EU markets remains secure," said Sefcovic.

According to the gas delivery deal, Ukraine's national oil and gas company Naftogaz will pre-pay and order from Russia's Gazprom sufficient quantities of gas to ensure covering all domestic consumption by Ukraine in March, and Naftogaz continues to guarantee an undisrupted transit of gas to the EU.

Russia and Ukraine also agreed to hold further talks in order to agree on the follow-up to the gas delivery, he said.

On the issue of supplies to certain areas of Donetsk and Lugansk regions, the statement said the two parties acknowledged that further discussion are needed, as it is "highly complex in legal, technical and political terms."

Sefcovic said the European Commission will propose a draft agenda and invite the parties to a meeting before the end of March.

Gas deliveries between Russia and Ukraine resumed last December according to the Winter Package deal reached after lengthy negotiations and bargaining.

The package allowed the resumption of Russian gas supply to Ukraine till March 2015 on the condition that by the end of 2014 Ukraine repay in two tranches $3.1 billion of its outstanding debt of over $5 billion.

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