10 Jan 2019 19:55

Ukraine ready to transport Russian gas after 2019 in line with European rules - Klimkin

KYIV. Jan 10 (Interfax) - Ukraine is open to a constructive dialogue at the trilateral Ukraine-EU-Russia negotiations on a long-term contract for gas transport to Europe via Ukraine in Brussels, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin said.

"We stand ready to take part in a constructive dialogue, but it has to be based on very clear terms. And one of the most important terms is the application of European norms so as to have a clear, transparent, and efficient basis for future transport. Hence, when we talk in Brussels on January 21, our position will be based on this very simple but very important factor," Klimkin said at a press conference in Vilnius on Thursday.

"The non-extension of EU norms to the Nord Stream 2 project goes against Europe's energy security," he said.

"Our position on future transport and on European energy security is absolutely clear: we stand ready to accept all relevant EU norms for our gas transport system. We are sure that future transport must be based on transparent and efficient EU norms. This would mean, for instance, that gas would be bought at Ukraine's eastern border, the transport tariff will be calculated based on European methodology, and management will be based on European norms," he said.

It was said earlier that Klimkin would lead the Ukrainian delegation at the talks in Brussels. The delegation will also include Deputy Foreign Minister Olena Zerkal, Deputy Energy and Coal Industry Minister Natalya Boiko, Ukrainian Permanent Representative to the EU Mykola Tochytsky, his deputy Roman Andarak, and Director of the Cabinet Secretariat's Fuel, Energy, Housing, and Utilities Directorate Serhiy Kosenko.

The government said that if they agreed to, Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolev, Naftogaz Executive Director Yuriy Vitrenko, chief of the national energy and utilities regulator (NKREKP) Oksana Kryvenko, and Foreign Ministry advisor Taras Kachka would also take part.

European Commission Vice President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic said on January 9 that the second round of talks between the EU, Ukraine, and Russia on a long-term contract for gas transportation to Europe via Ukraine would take place in Brussels on January 21.

Naftogaz has confirmed that Kobolev is willing to take part.

Kobolev said earlier that depending on the government's approval, Ukraine stood ready to consider revising or withdrawing the second gas transport lawsuit against Gazprom for a total of over $12 billion on the condition that a new long-term gas transport contract be concluded.