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Ukraine, Russia In Extended Gas Talks


Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan (center) arrives for gas talks between the European Union, Russia and Ukraine at the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels on October 29.

Russia and Ukraine are continuing EU-brokered talks in Brussels over their natural gas dispute.

The new round of talks, which started on October 29, is being hosted by EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger and involves Ukrainian and Russian energy ministers Yuriy Prodan and Aleksandr Novak, respectively.

The talks come after an inconclusive first round of talks on October 21.

An evening news conference scheduled for October 29 at which the EU had hoped to announce a deal after months of negotiation was canceled.

The European Commission said in a statement, "Negotiations are ongoing and likely to continue until late in the evening. In case of agreement, the press conference is envisaged to take place tomorrow morning [October 30] at 8:30 a.m."

Novak was later quoted by the Russian news agency TASS as saying that the talks would continue on October 30.

Oettinger said on October 29 that hurdles include bills that Ukraine has not paid for gas at higher prices demanded by Russia since the ouster of Ukraine's pro-Russian government earlier this year.

Russia is also demanding advance payment for new deliveries.

With reporting by AFP, AP, and TASS

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