Russia Ready to Extend Ukrainian Gas Transit Deal: Putin
Russia is prepared to extend its current deal on gas transit through Ukraine beyond this year if necessary, its president Vladimir Putin said on the sidelines of an energy forum in Moscow on October 2, local news agency RIA Novosti reported.
Russia is ready to sign a new transit agreement to succeed the 10-year contract that expires on December 31, if Ukraine finishes aligning its energy laws with EU legislation this year as planned, the Russian leader said. Should Ukraine fail to complete these reforms on time, Russia is willing to extend the current contract for a certain period, he said, citing one year as an example.
As part of its reforms, Ukraine is preparing to transfer operational control of its pipeline network from state gas company Naftogaz to a separate entity under different management but still wholly state-owned. Russian, Ukrainian and EU energy officials last held talks on a new gas transit contract on September 19, seemingly without any breakthroughs, with another meeting planned later this month to discuss progress.
Naftogaz made its views known October 3, on CCO Yuri Vitrenko's Facebook page.