Russia and Ukraine failed to agree on future payments delaying a hotly anticipated gas deal between the two countries.
Talks, orchestrated by European Union Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, were held in Brussels yesterday between Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuri Prodan.
Under the proposed deal, Ukraine would pay $3.1billion to cover previous imports. The payment would be due by the end of the year, however, in return Russia would cut its price by $100 per thousand cubic meters, charging $385 through March.
But the final decision faltered after the two sides failed to agree the financial resources for advance payments for future deliveries.
“Everyone’s got some homework to do and we decided we’ll meet next Wednesday having prepared everything for a decision on that day,” Oettinger said following the meeting.
Prodan later spoke at a press conference where he added: “The Ukrainian side understands that Ukrainian and EU energy security seriously depends on restoring gas supply.
“That is why we say today and we have said before that we are ready to look for a compromise decision.”
A total of 15% of the EU’s energy demand depends on Russian gas piped across Ukraine.
The two sides are due to resume talks next week.
By Rita Brown