Russian and Ukrainian officials reached an agreement late Thursday to resume Russian deliveries of natural gas to prevent shortages over the winter months, the New York Times reported.
The agreement, under the aegis of the European Union, follows months of laborious talks amid political tensions between the two nations.
“There is now no reason for people in Europe to stay cold this winter,” European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was quoted as saying following a signing ceremony in Brussels.
Russia and Ukraine had both bargained hard for commitments from the Western bloc, Reuters cited EU officials as saying.
Moscow is said to have sought EU cash to help Ukraine pay off debts to Gazprom while the Kiev authorities were anxious for a deal that would not involve overpaying for vital Russian supplies.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said in Kiev that the EU has agreed to serve as guarantor for Kiev in holding Russia to an agreement, notably on the price Ukraine would pay.
Russia provides around a third of the European Union’s natural gas, roughly half of which is pumped via Ukraine.
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