On Monday 24th October, Russia agreed to resume gas supplies to Ukraine over the winter in a deal brokered by the European Union.
Russia halted supplies to Ukraine in June over unpaid bills. Ukraine refused to pay after Russia sharply raised its gas prices. Talks between the two parties and the European Commission have been taking place throughout the last week, while further negotiations are scheduled for this week.
Relations between the two countries deteriorated after the overthrow of Ukraine’s pro-Russian President, Viktor Yanukovych, in February, and Russia’s subsequent support for separatists in Crimea and other Ukrainian regions.
Russia provides around a third of the European Union’s gas, about half of which is pumped via Ukraine.
Although the impact of the gas ban has been relatively small, the onset of winter made the need for a deal more urgent.
The terms of the Russia-Ukraine consensus include the EU acting as guarantor for Ukraine’s gas purchases from Russia and helping to meet outstanding debts.
The total package is worth $4.6bn (£2.87bn), with money coming from the International Monetary Fund, as well as the EU. The total includes funds from existing accords with the EU and IMF.
“The autumn and winter period is safe (for Ukraine) and the supply to European consumers is also stable. We are convinced that our future relations will be constructive and that our agreements will be fulfilled,” said the Russia’s Energy Minister Alexander Novak.