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Ukraine, Russia going through stage of exchange of 'public courtesies' before start of talks on extension of gas transit contract – Naftogaz chief

KYIV. Sept 15 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine and Russia have not yet begun negotiations to extend the transit contract after 2024, CEO of NJSC Naftogaz Ukrainy Yuriy Vitrenko told reporters in Kyiv on Wednesday.

"No, we still have a stage of exchanging public courtesies. This is a common situation. After this stage, at least historically, we moved on to substantive negotiations," he said, answering a question about the start of negotiations with Gazprom to extend the transit contract after 2024.

As reported, an agreement between Naftogaz and Gazprom for the organization of transportation, a transportation agreement between Naftogaz and the new operator GTSOU, as well as an inter-operator agreement between GTSOU and Gazprom were signed on December 30, 2019 following the results of trilateral gas negotiations Ukraine-Russia -European Commission.

The contract provides for the transit of at least 65 billion cubic meters of Russian gas in 2020, which in daily terms is 178 million cubic meters. In 2021-2024, transit will amount to 40 billion cubic meters. Payment for the above volumes is guaranteed even if pumping through the Ukrainian GTS is less.