Ukraine Hopes Russia Will Join EU Gas Talks in August

A worker checks equipment at an underground gas storage facility near Striy, Ukraine.

KIEV — Ukraine expects to hold a new round of talks with the European Commission and Russia about natural gas supplies at the end of August in Vienna, Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn said on Monday.

The European Commission has been mediating in a gas pricing dispute between Russia and Ukraine, an important transit route for gas to the EU, for more than a year.

"Our talks with the European Commission will definitely take place on [Aug.] 27-28 and we hope the Russians will join," said Demchyshyn.

Kiev and Moscow reached an interim accord last year for supplies over the winter period.

However, Ukraine suspended gas imports from Russia in July due to a price dispute, leaving it dependent on its own output and European imports.

Demchyshyn said he expected the price Ukraine pays for gas from Europe to be around $250 per 1,000 cubic meters in the next two quarters.

Europe relies on Russia for about a third of its gas, almost half of which is piped via Ukraine. Gas transit to Europe has been unaffected by Kiev's decision to stop taking Russian gas last month.

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