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Putin and Merkel discussed Ukraine gas transit on phone

Putin and Merkel discussed Ukraine gas transit on phone

Moscow, October 29 - Neftegaz.RU. Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had a phone conversation on October 28, during which the 2 leaders discussed issues related the Russian gas transit via Ukraine, the Kremlin said in a statement.

"In connection with the holding of the next round of trilateral ministerial consultations Russia-EU-Ukraine today in Brussels, Merkel and Putin exchanged views on the continuation of Russian gas transit through Ukraine to Europe after the expiration of the contract," the statement said. The current 10-year agreement between Gazprom and Naftogaz expires at the end of 2019.

Russia and Ukraine need a sense of urgency in their talks on gas transit for Europe, the EU’s energy chief Maroš Šefčovič said after the latest round in Brussels on October 28.

"I am disappointed with today's outcome," Šefčovič noted, adding that there now must be a "clear sense of urgency" in order to come to an agreement, because the "time is flying." In the previous 3 way gas talks on September 19, a long-term agreement also wasn’t reached.

"After listening to all parties, I suggested that we would need a minimum transit volume per year, which would be between 40 to 60 billion cu m per year, and also the flexibility margin between 20 to 30 billion cu m per year. But I understand that it is, of course, a matter for gas operators to discuss and to include in the final contractual agreement. I also propose that the duration of the contract be a minimum 10 years," Šefčovič said.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said after the meeting that the trilateral gas talks will continue at the end of November, just a month before the current deal expires.

To read the article in Russian.

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