And last summer Gazprom started providing gas on the condition of prepayment.Ukraine insists on extra binding gas supply agreements, while Russian Federation argues that Ukraine is obliged to comply with the terms of the open-ended contract and to maintain the transit of gas to the European Union, while the European Union must provide financial guarantees the supplies to Ukraine will be paid for.
“Our assessment is that Ukraine will need anywhere from 5 to 7 billion cubic meters [bcm] of gas from October 1 to March 31,” Miller said.
Russian Federation supplies around a third of Europe’s natural gas, half of which flows through Ukraine.
“I think it is fair for you to say that based on the repeated requests we’ve seen from the Russians, that they are quite interested in having a conversation with President Obama”, Earnest said.
Russian Federation has agreed to resume gas supplies to Ukraine during winter, reports APP news agency.
EU-brokered talks seeking a similar agreement on gas for the coming winter began in March.
Over the summer, Sefcovic was much harsher on the two sides, venting his frustration with a lack of progress.
Ministers will represent both parties – Alexander Novak for Russian Federation, and Volodymyr Demchyshyn for Ukraine – in addition to Gazprom and Naftogaz officials.
“All the technical details are agreed”, Sefcovic told a news conference. “The rail line is planned to open by the end of 2017 but we will try to reduce the [construction] period”, he said.
Additionally, the directive signed by Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk bans from Ukrainian airspace any Russian aircraft carrying military personnel or hardware.
The secretary noted the United States has provided Ukraine with more than $244 million in equipment and training, including Humvees, counter-mortar radar, night vision gear, body armor and medical equipment, and he said strengthening Ukraine’s training capacity will strengthen its defense capability.
Ukraine has accused Russian Federation of sending arms and troops to help pro-Moscow separatists fighting its soldiers in the east of the country, in a conflict which has killed nearly 8,000 people since April 2014.
Energy minister Demchyshyn said the gas deal will be “very supportive” in the government’s effort to “restart” Ukraine’s economy.