Russian, Ukrainian presidents may discuss gas shipment in December

Russian President Vladimir Putin may discuss with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelensky, the issue of gas shipment on the sidelines of a Normandy Four meeting in Paris on Dec. 9.

“There is an understanding that thorough negotiations should first take place at the working level,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

“If problematic issues are not agreed upon,” he said, the presidents will be able to use the meeting in Paris to talk about issues including gas shipment.

The current contract on the transit of natural gas from Russia through Ukraine to Europe expires by the end of this year, and no agreement has been reached on its extension so far.

Putin discussed gas issues in a telephone conversation with Zelensky on Monday, and also with Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Alexey Miller, head of Russian gas giant Gazprom. Details of the conversations were not disclosed.

The leaders of the Normandy Four of Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany are scheduled to meet in Paris next month to discuss the situation in Ukraine.