Ukraine's Poroshenko says winter gas price deal agreed with Russia

Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko confirmed that an agreement has been reached with Russia on a provisional price for gas deliveries during the coming winter months.

Kiev: Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko confirmed that an agreement has been reached with Russia on a provisional price for gas deliveries during the coming winter months.

Poroshenko yesterday said the deal was agreed at talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Milan on Friday, and he hoped it would end the gas dispute between the two countries.

"On the basis of consultations, I can say that Ukraine will have the gas, will have heating," Poroshenko said in an interview broadcast on Ukrainian television late yesterday.

Progress towards settling the gas row has raised hopes of an EU-backed resolution of the broader conflict embroiling Moscow and Kiev over the insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

Gazprom cut deliveries to Ukraine in June after Kiev disputed a price increase set by Moscow.

But Poroshenko said that a price had now been agreed by both sides and that Russia had "accepted" the Ukrainian position.

The agreed price will be USD 385 dollars (300 euros) per 1,000 cubic metres, Poroshenko said, down from the current price of USD 485.

Poroshenko met Putin three times in the space of 10 hours in Milan on Friday, twice in the company of various European Union leaders then, finally, in their first private meeting since late August.

Following the meeting, Poroshenko said he hoped a deal could be done at or before already scheduled talks in Brussels on Tuesday.

"Before October 21, we hope to find a solution for the energy question," he said.

Putin also implied a deal was close and said there had been "progress" and "agreement on the conditions for the resumption of deliveries of gas, at least in winter period".

The Russian leader also urged EU governments to help finalise the complex funding package required for it to happen.

EU-brokered talks with Ukraine and Russia have produced a draft accord under which cash-strapped Kiev would pay USD 3.1 billion in unpaid bills to Moscow by the end of October, with a new contract to cover subsequent deliveries.

Putin had hinted that gas supplies to Europe could be cut if no agreement was reached -- a move that could disrupt winter supplies to Europe.  

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