The European Commission and European financial institutions are ready to help Ukraine buy Russian gas but do not want "to play first fiddle".

A joint statement by the European Commission and international lenders on Ukraine's settlements for gas, circulated on Tuesday by the European Commission's representative office in Russia, states that the European Commission will continue assisting the search for a solution, Kyiv Post reported.

At the same time, the international partners note that further support to ease gas purchases will depend on further reforms in the gas sector, and be an addition to the financial assistance the International Monetary Fund has been providing under a program to support the Ukrainian economy, the statement says.

The reform in which citizens of Ukraine and European consumers are equally interested, is a national challenge, a successful answer to which will require a political consensus and responsibility, it says.

The statement was made following the European Union's technical talks on Monday with representatives of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

The participants in the talks examined the problem of Ukraine's settlements for Russian gas and its storing, and singled out the main issues of concern, as well as ways of resolving the situation, including various financing schemes.

The European Commission underscores the importance of guaranteeing reliable energy shipments and uninterrupted transit of gas to European consumers in the winter, says the statement.


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