Talk Will Center On Russian State-Run Monopoly
The EU and Russia have agreed to organize a group of experts to discuss recent EU energy market reforms.
In September, the European Commission put forward proposals to "unbundle" the European energy sector.
In what has become known as the "GazProm clause," the proposal laid down criteria for foreign investment.
The proposals makes it illegal for companies to control both the production and transport of natural gas.
In addition, foreign companies can only invest if their home country gives the EU reciprocal access to their domestic energy market.
The rules effectively block the Russian state monopoly GazProm from buying into the European market.
Gas and Politics
Russia has regularly been accused of using GazProm to exert political leverage on other countries.
Earlier this month, GazProm abruptly announced a $1.3 billion dollar unpaid debt and threatened to cut off gas supplies to the Ukraine shortly after Yulia Tymoshenko's pro-West party took an unexpectedly high number of seats in Ukrainian parliamentary elections.
While the Ukrainian government expressed surprise, experts questioned how such a large debt could build up without anyone noticing.
Then the Russian prime minister said one week later that the debt was $2 billion.
Thereafter pro-Russian ministers of the soon-to-be opposition party reached a settlement with GazProm of which details are still unclear.
There has been general unease in the United States and Europe as Russia has moved away from a market-based economy in key sectors.
Early last week President Putin introduced legislation that will create yet another state-owned industrial giant, Rostechnologii, that will absorb Russia's largest car manufacturer and VSMPO-Avisma, a key international exporter of titanium.
When asked about providing equal access to Russian energy markets after a meeting with the EU Energy Commissioner on Tuesday, Russian energy minister Viktor Khristenko did not directly answer the question.
"We have the opportunity to participate in the development of various sectors of energy in Europe by means of joint projects with partners in Germany, Italy and France - wherever we've got this mutual level of understanding among partners," he said.
"We hope new initiatives, which are being drawn up by the European Commission, will not in any way represent an obstacle to these aims."