Russia, Ukraine agree on gas supplies

Moscow, Oct 31 (IANS) Russia, Ukraine, and the European Commission (EC) have signed an agreement on gas supply and transit conditions until March 2015, media reported Friday.

The agreement was signed Thursday by Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yury Prodan, and vice president of the EC in charge of energy, Guenther Oettinger in Brussels, RT news reported.
The signing was witnessed by EC President Jose Manuel Barroso and the EC’s new vice president in charge of energy, Marosh Shefchovich.
Ukraine will be able to receive the needed volumes of Russian gas until the end of March based on a pre-payment plan at a price of $385 per 1,000 cubic meters, Oettinger said during the press conference.
Speaking at a briefing after the signing of the deal, Oettinger assured that Ukraine said it is ready to pay $1.451 billion of its gas debt to Russia “immediately”.
According to Oettinger, Kiev will be able to pay back $3.1 billion of its gas debts before the end of the year.
However, he added that the final figure will depend on the decision of the international Stockholm court of arbitration on the gas debt dispute.
Ukraine will get the money it is lacking with the help of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union (EU), the EC official announced.