Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak, Chairman of Gazprom Management Committee Alexey Miller, and Ukraine’s Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection Oleksiy Orzhel were among Ukrainian and Russian delegates who arrived at the European Commission's headquarters in Brussels on Thursday to hold another round of trilateral talks on the future of supplies and transit of Russian natural gas to the European Union via Ukraine.
The Negotiations, hosted by the Commission’s Vice President for 'Energy Union' Maros Sefcovic, are aiming to close gaps between the parties over a new agreement on Russian gas transit to Europe via Ukraine, as the current 10-year contract expires on 31 December.
The trilateral meeting between the Russian delegation led by Novak, and Ukraine side Orzhel, and the EU represented by Maros Sefcovic, will start at 2:30 pm local time (1.30 pm GMT) at Berlaymont building, headquarters of the European Commission. Before that each delegation will hold bilateral consultations with the EU representatives.
Ahead of the current round of talks, Ukraine expressed support for the proposal, voiced by Sefcovic last January, for a new 10-year transit contract with a guaranteed minimum yearly transit volume of 60 billion cubic meters. Kiev fears that Moscow will halt transits via Ukraine completely after completing their Nord Stream 2 alternative pipeline route to Germany, set to be the world's longest offshore pipeline so far. Meanwhile, the Russian side wants to sign a short-term deal with Kiev on gas transit.