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No resolution to Russia-Ukraine gas deal

Talks are scheduled continue Tuesday and Wednesday.

By Ed Adamczyk
No resolution to Russia-Ukraine gas deal
A Ukrainian worker operates at a natural gas pipeline. (UPI Photo/Sergey Starostenko) | License Photo

BRUSSELS, June 10 (UPI) -- A failure in negotiations between Ukraine and Russia regarding natural gas has increased worries among European Union countries over a possible gas supply interruption.

Talks in Brussels last week, brokered by the European Commission -- the executive body of the EU -- between the two countries were extended through Monday, and failed to reach an agreement regarding Ukraine's cost in importing Russian natural gas.

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Ukraine has paid for gas delivered in February and March, about $786 million, but must negotiate a repayment schedule for gas delivered in 2013 and arrange a new price for gas delivered beginning April 2014.

Additional talks are scheduled for Tuesday and Wednesday, Gunther Oettinger, EU energy commissioner, said. "We have some open questions and some different positions -- ongoing different positions -- but we agreed to continue to negotiate. Tomorrow our Ukrainian partners and our Russian partners have to speak with their governments and their heads of states, and they are meeting to discuss the situation," Oettinger said.

The dispute, a part of the crisis that involves Russia's annexation of Crimea and its suspected role in political upheaval in eastern Ukraine, has intensified worry over the possibility of an interruption in the supply of natural gas from Russia to European Union countries. The EU imports one-third of its natural gas from Russia.

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