Ukraine's winter gas problem may be over

Ukraine's winter gas problem may be over

2014-09-26 18:30

Berlin - Russia's energy minister said after gas talks with Ukraine in Berlin on Friday that an interim deal mediated by the European Union could be the basis for a solution over the winter, though Russia would only supply Ukraine once pre-payments were made.

Moscow would require partial payments of at least $2bn by the end of October and another $1.1bn by year end, said Energy Minister Alexander Novak, concurring with an outline of the deal by European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger.

The European Union proposed a gas deal between Ukraine and Russia in Berlin on Friday that would guarantee Ukraine at least 5 billion cubic metres of gas for the next six months, European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said.

Oettinger said there was a "very high chance" that all sides would agree to the interim deal to ensure Ukraine's gas supply over the winter, following the talks mediated by the EU.

The price discussed was $385 per cubic metres and Oettinger said the deal would involve Kiev paying $2bn by the end of October and a further $1.1bn by the end of the year, with the International Monetary Fund putting up guarantees.