MOSCOW, October 13 (RIA Novosti) - Ukraine has expressed willingness to make pre-payments for only 4 billion cubic meters of Russian natural gas instead of 5 billion suggested earlier by Moscow, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Monday.
"The current supplies needed by Ukraine in the volume of 4 billion cubic meters must be carried out under the pre-payment contract," Novak told reporters in Moscow.
"We are also ready to offer the Ukrainian side a more flexible schedule of debt payments in the amount of $3.1 billion, but this debt must be paid in full by the end of 2014," the minister said.
Novak added that the Ukrainian party has not accepted Russia's proposals yet, while the European Commission has expressed approval.
Earlier in the day, Russian Energy Ministry said another round of Russia-Ukraine-EU gas talks is scheduled for October 21.
During a ministerial gas meeting in Berlin on September 26, Moscow and the European Commission proposed the so-called winter package, the deal that would seek Ukraine pay $3.1 billion of its debt to Russia by the end of the year in exchange for gas deliveries during winter months at $385 per 1,000 cubic meters. Russia initially insisted that Ukraine would pay the first tranche of $2 billion before the start of the deliveries.
Ukraine is not satisfied with the package saying it wants to agree the debt repayment schedule, as well as terms and schedules of future gas deliveries and insists on amending the current gas contract with Russia in order to formally authorize reverse deliveries of Russian gas to Ukraine from Europe.