Russian officials in the gas talks with Ukraine and the European Union in Milan on October 17 rejected the main provisions of the draft protocol proposed by the European Commission, Ukrainian Energy and Mining Minister Yury Prodan told Interfax.
"When we met, it felt that the Russian party intended to have constructive negotiations. We though we could reach agreements using the fundamental protocol proposed by the European Commission. However, when the Russian party proposed its own draft version of the protocol, we saw that they had practically fully rejected the main provisions of the protocol drawn up by the European Commission," he said.
Prodan specified those provisions.
"What precisely main principles of the protocol are now denied by the Russian side? First of all, the Russian side has refused to state in the protocol the amount of gas it assumes the obligation to supply to the Ukrainian side. Secondly, it has refused to state the price in an amount of $385 per 1,000 cubic meters as the commercial price that will be included in the supplemental agreement between Gazprom and Naftogaz. They also rejected the provision saying that this price will not change until march 2015 and they practically insisted that they should continue influencing the price level, depending on decisions made by the Russian government," the minister said.
Prodan believes Russia's position in the talks indicates its refusal to sign any interim agreement.
"The Russian side has flatly refused to make changes to the contract between Gazprom and Naftogaz that would reflect the agreements reached in the protocol. The Russian side believes Gazprom should not sign this binding protocol and be a party to this protocol. Thus, the Russian side is refusing to sign any interim agreement between Gazprom and Naftogaz before a final decision made by the arbitration court," he said.
At the same time, Prodan said Ukraine is ready to continue negotiations with Russia and the EU to reach a compromise.
"We are ready to continue the three-party talks and we are ready to continue working on achieving a compromise with the European Commission and Russia. At the same time, I would like to say that the version of the protocol proposed by the Russian side yesterday contradicts the previously approved provisions," Prodan said.
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