European Commission Vice President for Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič discussed with Ukraine’s newly sworn-in president, Volodymyr Zelensky, the issue of transiting Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine.

During his meeting with Zelensky while Šefčovič was in the Ukrainian capital for the former’s inauguration, Šefčovič calling for a long-term contract, an EU spokeswoman told New Europe on 21 May.

“The message that the Vice President passed on in his meetings, as well as during the press briefing, was, ‘we need quick progress. It is in our interest to have a long-term contract. My preference is to first have meaningful contacts before the summer break,’” the spokeswoman added.

Šefčovič also held bilateral meetings with the soon-to-be former prime minister, Volodymyr Groysman, who is expected to announce his resignation on 22 May, and Naftogaz CEO Andrey Kobolyev about reforms in Ukraine’s energy sector.

The Slovak-born Šefčovič took time to thank Groysman “for years of good cooperation, his reform drive as well as friendship.” Groysman, who has served as prime minister since March 2016, is now expected to establish a new pro-Western, centrist political party that will run in the snap parliamentary elections that have been set for 21 July following Zelensky’s dissolution of the parliament shortly after he was sworn in on 20 May.

“Looking forward to working together with President Zelensky on the energy sector reforms. Seeing Ukraine’s progress on energy efficiency, I’m hopeful we can also succeed in the electricity market liberalisation, the unbundling of Naftogaz Ukraine and Trilateral Gas Talks,” Šefčovič wrote in a tweet.

Šefčovič had discussed Trilateral Gas Talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the Belt and Road Forum in China on 26 April and later with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on 30 April.