The Russian Ministry of Energy expects that, one way or another, Russia and Ukraine will be able to agree on extending the contract for gas transit through Ukraine to the European Union after 2019, when the document expires, Deputy Energy Minister Anatoly Yanovsky told reporters on Monday, TASS reported.
"We expect that, to some extent, we will be able to reach an agreement with Ukraine on the transit of gas after 2019. If this does not happen in May, it will probably happen in October," he said.
According to Yanovsky, the final trilateral meeting between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union on gas transit through the territory of Ukraine can be held in September-October 2019. At the moment, the next meeting is scheduled for May.
"According to the plan, I should meet with them in May. I will also meet with them within the tripartite framework in fall, in September-October," he said.
Contracts signed by Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine in 2009 (on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and on gas transit through Ukraine to Europe) expire at the end of 2019. The issue of gas transit through Ukraine is also being discussed in the context of the ongoing construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, which bypasses transit states.