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Happy winter: Russia, Ukraine, EU reach gas supply deal

Staff writer |
Trilateral talks on the Russia-Ukraine gas row have reached an agreement worth $4.6 billion for the coming winter, the European Union (EU) announced.

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The package allows the resumption of Russian gas supply to Ukraine till March 2015 on the condition that Ukraine pays in two tranches by the end of the year 3.1 billion dollars of outstanding debt, said a European Commission statement.

The final sum of debt would be determined through arbitration.

In return, Russia has agreed to deliver gas to Ukraine on the basis of pre-payments. Ukraine foresees to purchase 4 billion cubic meters of gas with 1.5 billion dollars until the end of this year, said the statement.

Ukraine is expected to use aid from the EU and the International Monetary Fund to make the payments.

EU energy chief Gunther Oettinger said this breakthrough will not only ensure gas supply for Ukraine during the winter, but also will contribute to de-escalating the tension between Russia and Ukraine over the unrest in eastern Ukraine.

Ukraine and Russia had been embroiled in a standoff over gas for months. In June, Russia cut off all gas supplies to Ukraine as the two sides failed to reach agreement on payments.

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