Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission, after hours-long talks on Thursday, agreed in principle on a new gas deal starting after Jan 1, 2020, European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic told a briefing.
Ukraine is a key transit route for Russian piped gas exports to Europe. The current deal between the two post-Soviet countries expires at the end of the year.
“After these very intensive talks I am very glad to say that we reached an agreement in principle on all key elements which I believe is very positive news for Europe, for Russia and Ukraine,” Sefcovic said.
Sefcovic, Ukraine’s energy minister, Oleksiy Orzhel, and Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak met in Berlin on Thursday. They did not provide details.
Gazprom said in a statement that Moscow and Kiev would meet on Friday in the Belarus capital of Minsk to continue talks.
Orzhel, speaking at the same briefing, said he hoped to reach “positive results for all sides” soon. Novak, praising Germany’s brokerage in the deal, said that “we all have done a good work.”
Earlier this year, German Chancellor Angela Merkel appointed Georg Graf Waldersee a special Germany envoy to represent Berlin’s interests in the gas talks.
Russia and Germany are allies in Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, to be launched next year. It would double Russian gas supplies to Germany via the route running beneath the Baltic Sea, known as Nord Stream 1.