Russia is ready to supply natural gas to Ukraine at a price 25% lower than the current prices, said Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak on Thursday in a meeting with the Maros Sefcovic, European Commission's vice-president in charge of the Energy Union.
The parties had 'constructive talks' on the supply of the Russian natural gas to and through Ukraine, Novak said during a press conference with Sefcovic following the meeting.
'We are ready to extend the contract under current conditions,' Novak said and added that Russia takes a constructive position on this issue and is ready to continue gas transit through Ukraine and ensure supplies to European consumers.
Russia wants to solve the ongoing arbitration process between the Russian energy company Gazprom and Ukraine, the Russian energy minister.
'In order to settle the arbitration process peacefully, we have submitted our offer to reconcile with Ukraine,' said Novak.
Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission will hold trilateral gas talks in the second half of September, according to the Russian minister.
'We suggested that the best time would be the second half of September,' Novak said.
The transit contract between the parties was established in January 2009. The agreement on the supply of natural gas and the delivery of Russian gas to Europe via Ukraine will expire at the end of 2019. The agreed volumes for transit covers a significant share of Europe's gas demand.
In April 2014, Gazprom increased the gas price for Ukranian gas company Naftogaz by over 80 percent within days following the Russian occupation of Crimea and in November 2015, Ukraine stopped natural gas imports from Russia.
Reporting by Emre Gurkan Abay in Moscow
Additional reporting and writing by Gokce Kucuk