The second round of political trilateral talks with Russia and Ukraine on the future of gas transit via Ukraine will take place on January 21 in Brussels, the European Commission has said. The meeting will take place with the participation of EU Vice-President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin and Naftogaz CEO Andriy Kobolyev, and Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Russian gas monopoly Gazprom Deputy Chairman Alexander Medvedev on the Russian side.

Šefčovič hailed the fact that both sides have agreed to come to Brussels for the second round of negotiations at ministerial level. “I welcome also the presence of top representatives of the two incumbent gas companies. Exactly six months have passed since we met in this format for the first time in Berlin,” he said. “A couple of talks at senior expert level have taken place since then and it is time to take stock of where we are in the process and discuss the way forward on the key parameters agreed in Berlin. We need a strong commitment by the two sides to advance in the talks, given that the existing transit contract expires at the end of this year,” he added.

A first ministerial meeting on the topic took place on July 17, 2018, followed by meetings at expert during the second half of 2018.

Discussions on January 21 will build on the expert-level meetings and focus on the key parameters agreed in Berlin, notably the applicable legal framework, volumes, duration and tariffs, the European Commission said.