EU, Russia and Ukraine meeting, trying to resolve 'Winter' gas issue could take place at end of September. (RBTH).
"This paper will be discussed in bilateral meetings at the ministerial level. The first one will be on August 27 with the Ukrainian minister and possibly at the beginning of September with the Russian minister. There is a convergence that there will be probably a trilateral ministerial meeting at the end of September," Arias Canete said at a press conference in Brussels on August 20.
The document outlines the nature and timeline for the protocol, formula for prices and discounts, minimum purchase amounts and their financing.
The European Commission is working tirelessly in order to reach a new gas delivery protocol from Russia to Ukraine from October 2015 to March 2016, Arias Canete said.
"The commission wants very clearly to have the second winter package. This is our position", he said.Arias Canete said that the last three-sided ministerial meeting on gas in Vienna finished without results. A draft protocol was readied for Vienna upon which the sides reached a working level agreement, however the positions changed on the ministerial level.
"It became clear that at the moment there is no political will on both sides to agree on a new protocol. That is why the commission has informed the Normandy Group about the deadlock of the negotiations and asked for a stronger political steering from the heads of states and government commissars," he said.
He also outlined the arguments of the European Commission in favor of a protocol. First of all, it is necessary to ensure the gas supply to Ukraine in the coming winter. And although the situation has improved a bit compared to last year due to the reverse gas supplies from EU countries, "Ukraine still needs to fill its storages to at least 19 billion cubic meters (bcm) in order to prepare for a rough winter.
The current level is 13.5 bcm. They need to buy more gas," Arias Canete said.
Additionally he said that it is necessary to guarantee the supply for Ukraine, while at the same time maintaining the transits of gas from Russia to the European Union, as it is in the interests of Moscow, so that they can retain their position as a reliable supplier. Hmmm.........I wouldn't count too much on a solution, in view of: "Gazprom" has asked the Stockholm arbitration to collect the $ 29.2 billion Gas debt from Ukraine.