The Naftogaz group’s Executive Director Yurii Vitrenko has said that Russia and Ukraine should conclude a new gas transit contract by December 13. This was reported by the Bloomberg news agency, the Ukrainian News Agency reports. “December 13th is the deadline for concluding a long-term reservation contract. In connection with this, it is very important to start real negotiations because we can negotiate not all of December but only two weeks,” Vitrenko said. According to him, this this is an emergency procedure because European rules stipulate that it is necessary to reserve long-term gas transmission capacities in advance. “What is taking place now is not a negotiation but discussions, during which the Russians put forward certain conditions for commencement of negotiations. If there is a political impulse, this can activate real negotiations and we have a chance of concluding a contract in December,” Vitrenko said. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, Prime Minister Oleksii Honcharuk has stated that no separate negotiations are being held on direct purchase of Russian natural gas. Besides, Minister of Energy and Environmental Protection Oleksii Orzhel has declared that Ukraine is interested purchasing natural gas directly from Russia on market conditions. Russia raised the issue of direct gas supplies to Ukrainian customers during the recent Ukraine-Russia-European Union trilateral talks on transit of Russian natural gas, which took place on September 19. Ukraine stated during the trilateral talks that it aimed to reach agreement with the European Union and Russia on a 10-year contract for transit of up to 90 billion cubic meters of natural gas per year. Naftogaz of Ukraine has stated that it is willing to reduce the size of its claim against Gazprom at the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce from USD 12 billion to USD 2 billion if a long-term contract for transit of Russian natural gas through Ukraine is concluded.