6 Dec 2019 22:00

Naftogaz concludes bilateral talks with Gazprom, ready for trilateral ones - COO

KYIV. Dec 6 (Interfax) - Ukraine's Naftogaz has concluded bilateral talks on gas transit with Russia's Gazprom and is ready for trilateral talks, Naftogaz Chief Operating Officer Yuriy Vitrenko said on Facebook on Friday evening.

The possibility of addressing issues from the previous and current hearings at the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce was discussed at the request of the European Commission, as Gazprom included it in the "package" for talks on transit, Vitrenko said.

"In order to show our constructiveness, we said that we are ready to consider the possibility of receiving gas from Gazprom as debt repayment in accordance with the previous Stockholm arbitration ruling ($3 billion). We are also ready to withdraw our claims that are part of the new lawsuit, but only if a long-term contract for transit, covering all expenses, is signed and if Gazprom compensates Naftogaz for its failure to fulfil its obligations under the current contracts," he said.

"And now we are ready to return to trilateral talks and tell Europeans how we discussed these issues in good faith," Vitrenko said.

Vitrenko did not comment what position Gazprom had taken in response to the Ukrainian side's suggestions.

At the same time, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak told the Rossiya 24 television channel that the judicial disputes are the matter that should be resolved first in gas issues between Russia and Ukraine.

"We are committed to finding all necessary solutions to the pending issues. Of course, we believe that the lawsuits must be addressed first. It is the key issue on the agenda. Additionally, such gas transit conditions that are competitive with others must be created. Of course, in case if transit is maintained and we are able to use Ukraine's gas pipeline system among others," he said.