ST. PETERSBURG, December 6. /TASS/. The trilateral meeting on the gas issue between Russia, Ukraine and the European Union (EU) may be held in the second half of January, not on December 11 as was planned earlier, Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Thursday.

“Yesterday we spoke with the European Commissioner (Maros) Sefcovic. At his suggestion, the meeting was postponed to January. It was planned to meet on December 11. A proposal just came from the European Commission to hold the meeting in the second half of January,” he said, adding that prior to that a meeting at the expert level would be held.

The European Commission said earlier that the EU and Ukraine supported the idea to hold trilateral gas talks in the format EU-Russia-Ukraine at the beginning of next year.

Initially it was suggested that trilateral talks should be held in October, though the date of the meeting has not been defined yet.

Two contracts signed by Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine in 2009 (the contract on Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and the contract on gas transit through Ukraine to Europe) expire at the end of 2019. The issue of Russian gas transit after 2019 is also discussed in the context of the planned construction of the Nord Stream-2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, which will bypass transit states.

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