World

Deal reached to provide Ukraine with Russian gas

BERLIN — European officials say they have brokered a deal between Russia and Ukraine aimed at ensuring gas flows to keep factories running and homes warm over the coming six months, despite a dispute between Moscow and Kiev over the size of Ukraine’s outstanding bills.

Günther H. Oettinger, the European Union energy commissioner, met Friday in Berlin with the energy ministers of Russia and Ukraine to urge the two sides to reach an agreement that would resume the flow of natural gas from Russia to the European Union via Ukraine in the coming winter.

Russia’s natural gas giant, Gazprom, cut off supplies to Ukraine in the summer after failed to reach an agreement on how much Kiev owes Russia for past deliveries.

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Under Friday’s deal, which still requires approval from Moscow and Kiev, Ukraine would pay Russia $3.1 billion toward its outstanding bill, in two separate installments due by the end of the year. In exchange, Gazprom would ensure that enough gas is supplied.

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Oettinger said the European Union would guarantee a loan from the International Monetary Fund to help Ukraine meet the payments on its debt.

New York Times