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Ukraine Says It's Ready To Join EU Negotiations With Russia Over Gas

Naftogaz Chief Executive Officer Andriy Kobolev said Ukraine will join European Union negotiations with Russia over gas (file photo).

Ukraine is ready to join European Union talks on gas issues with Russia on December 9, Ukrainian state energy company Naftogaz said on its Twitter account on December 5.

"The talks will focus on the 'winter package' for the next winter," said Naftogaz chief Andriy Kobolev, adding that Ukraine may resume direct purchases of Russian gas if Moscow agrees on a number of Kyiv's proposals, including matters such as "price, terms of delivery, and, most importantly, on signing an additional agreement."

Kyiv has not bought gas directly from Russia for more than a year as a result of a breakdown in relations caused by Russia's forcible annexation of Crimea and backing of pro-Russia separatists in the east.

Naftogaz did not say which Ukrainian officials will take part in talks in Brussels.

The EU relies on Russia for about a third of its gas, with more than half of that transiting through Ukraine. The deterioration of ties between Moscow and Kyiv has increased the potential for disputes.

European Commission Vice President Maros Sefcovic has been acting as an intermediary between Russia and Ukraine in the gas negotiations, trying to minimize the risk of gas supply interruptions to Europe, especially in winter.

Based on reporting by Reuters and TASS