The European Union has no intention of isolating Russia from the process of upgrading Ukraine's gas pipeline network. But Moscow is concerned the involvement of Brussels may result in higher gas transit fees for Russia.
Vladimir Putin insists that Russia, the EU and Ukraine should set up a consortium to modernize Ukraine's gas pipeline network, with Moscow still to decide on a $5 billion loan to Kiev to pay for stored gas.
Mutual cooperation of the countries in the Arctic region is the likely outcome, because natural disasters cannot be stood against alone, shares Lev Voronkov from the Moscow Institute of International Relations.
Russia and Bulgaria will sign the final contract to build South Stream across Bulgarian territory within a fortnight. The deal overcomes tensions between the two, including the fee Bulgaria will earn for gas transit.