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Gazprom CEO says Russian energy giant signs package deal with Ukraine on gas transit

December 31, 2019/ 11:15

Moscow. Russian energy giant Gazprom and its Ukrainian partners have signed a package of agreements, which restored a balance of interests of both sides, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller told journalists.

"After continuous bilateral talks, which lasted for five days in Vienna, final decisions and agreements have been reached," Miller said. "We have signed a number of agreements and contracts, and they are in reality a significant package deal, which has restored the balance of interests of both sides."

"These documents come into legal force starting today and provide for the transit of the Russian natural gas across the territory of Ukraine after December 31, 2019," he said. "The documents are dated as of December 30 [2019]."

Miller added that "Gazprom has done everything possible it could and once again proved to be a responsible supplier and a reliable partner."

According to a statement from the Russian energy giant, "In line with the protocol as of December 20, Gazprom, Naftogaz Ukraine, the Gas Transportation System Operator of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Ministry of Justice signed a package of documents, which provide for the transit of natural gas across the territory of Ukraine after December 31, 2019."

The package consists of three main documents. One of them is a deal between Ukraine’s new gas transit system operator, the Gas Transportation System Operator of Ukraine, and Gazprom, which sets out technical procedures and rules of interaction between the operators. The other documents stipulate the organization of the gas transit and a settlement agreement, in which Naftogaz and Gazprom waive their claims regarding the 2009 contracts.

Naftogaz Executive Director Yury Vitrenko stated that the agreements stipulate "guaranteed volumes" of the natural gas transit supplies (65 billion cubic meters in 2020 and 40 billion cubic meters annually in 2021-2024). There is also an option of organizing additional volumes of gas transit "with a highly flexible system of reservation, which will be charged for at a higher tariff," he said.

Vitrenko has also confirmed that the sides concluded a deal on the settlement of court disputes and it stipulates "the withdrawal of all existing appeals and claims on behalf of both sides."

The new round of gas talks between the Russian and Ukrainian delegations was launched in Vienna on December 26, reports TASS.

On December 20, Moscow and Kiev announced that a new gas transit contract had been agreed for the term of five years and that mutual claims between Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine had been settled.

The parties also agreed to waive new and withdraw existing mutual claims. Gazprom also agreed to pay around $2.9 bln to Naftogaz by the year-end under the decision made by the Stockholm Arbitration. Moreover, an amicable settlement was agreed on antitrust proceedings against Gazprom in Ukraine. Last Friday, Gazprom reported that the amount had been paid to Naftogaz.

On Saturday the Ukrainian government approved the signing of the amicable agreement with Gazprom. The document settles the claims of the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine against Russia's Gazprom amounting to around $7 bln.

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