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Published: Monday June 16, 2014 MYT 10:40:02 PM
Updated: Monday June 16, 2014 MYT 10:41:00 PM

EU energy chief - good to return to Ukraine-Russia gas talks before summer

BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said on Monday it would be good for all sides in gas talks between Ukraine and Russia to get back to negotiations before the summer break.

Russia cut off gas to Ukraine on Monday in a dispute over unpaid bills that could disrupt supplies to the rest of Europe and set back hopes for peace in the former Soviet republic.

"It is my hope and my ambition not to lose some momentum ... so to come together to the next informal or formal (talks) before the summer break should be in the interest of us all," Oettinger, who has brokered a series of three-way talks between Russia, Ukraine and the EU, said while on a visit to the Slovak capital.

"I think this issue could be solvable if we have some additional flexibility."

(Reporting by Jan Lopatka; Writing by Jason Hovet; Editing by Pravin Char)

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