Russia will sign the winter gas deliveries plan if the European Commission (EC) and Ukraine manage to agree on financial guarantees, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller stated Thursday.
“The thing is that two protocols will be signed — a trilateral protocol [Russia, Ukraine, EC] and a bilateral protocol [EC, Ukraine]. And what concerns financial issues, what concerns guarantees, given to Ukraine by the European Commission, these liabilities will be signed in a bilateral protocol,” Miller said following the results of the trilateral gas talks in Brussels.
“The negotiations will take place [on October 30] only if Ukraine and the European Commission reach an agreement on this bilateral protocol,” Miller added.
Miller has noted that if an agreement between the EC and Ukraine is reached, all three documents — two protocols and the addendum to the contract between Gazprom and Naftogaz — could be signed Thursday.
As for the trilateral protocol, according to Miller, all its main provisions were agreed upon.
On Wednesday, Russia and Ukraine started the final round of gas talks, mediated by the European Commission, to find an interim solution to the standoff over Ukraine’s unpaid gas bills and the price Kiev will pay for Russian gas supplies during the upcoming winter.
The gas dispute between Russia and Ukraine became especially acute when Gazprom switched Kiev to a prepayment system for gas supplies in June over Ukraine’s gas debt of more than $5 billion.
In September, Russia and the European Commission proposed the so-called «winter package», according to which Ukraine should pay $3.1 billion of its debt to Russia by the end of the year in exchange for gas deliveries during the winter period.