EU energy chief: Progress in Ukraine gas row, more talks this month

ATHENS Thu May 15, 2014 11:48am EDT

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ATHENS May 15 (Reuters) - Europe's energy commissioner said on Thursday he saw progress in resolving the row over gas prices between Kiev and Moscow and expected one, perhaps two more rounds of ministerial talks on the issue before the end of May.

In his latest letter to EU leaders, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged them to do more to help Ukraine through its economic crisis and to resolve the standoff over gas, repeating a threat to cut exports if Kiev fails to pay in advance for June deliveries.

"There is no reason to be nervous," Commissioner Guenther Oettinger told Reuters, saying the new letter represented progress and would be followed by more talks.

On Monday, Oettinger is meeting Russia's energy minister and the head of Gazprom in Berlin to set a date for further talks.

"Now we are preparing a second and, if necessary a third ministerial before the end of May, between May 26 and May 31." (Reporting by Barbara Lewis; editing by Jane Baird)

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