Russia, Ukraine and EU initialed agreement on gas supplies to Ukraine

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The parties have agreed on the key points of the agreement, but some procedures are still needed to sign it

Russia, Ukraine and the EU initialed an agreement on the terms of the "winter package", a source familiar with the situation told Interfax.

The document had been expected to be signed prior to the meeting.

Meanwhile, Gazprom and Naftogaz of Ukraine signed an appendix to the contract to supply gas within the framework of the "winter package".

Vice-President for the Energy Union Maroš Šefčovič, in turn, said that approving and signing of the initialed tripartite protocol on gas between the Russian Federation, the European Commission (EC) and Ukraine will require a separate procedure.

Energy Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Demchyshyn said that the terms of the initialed protocol are acceptable for his country and will support its economy. Demchyshyn noted that it is important to assist stabilization of the Ukrainian economy, "to restart it", so it is necessary to support the producers who consume the Russian gas.

International financial institutions, in particular, the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, have started to raise billions of dollars so that Ukraine can purchase gas. This sum should be enough to buy about 5 billion cubic meters of gas, which will allow surviving the winter.

Gazprom head Alexey Miller said that the allocated money may not be enough in case of abnormal cold. The World Bank should grant the next tranche ($ 500 million) to Ukraine in January next year only, and this threatens the solvency of the country.

In the 4th quarter, gas will cost Ukraine $ 232 per thousand cubic meters, taking into account the discount given by Russia.

According to the estimations of "Gazprom", Ukraine will need 5-7 billion cubic meters of gas for the period from October to March. It is expected that the major purchase will be made in the first quarter of the next year, as the coldest one.

Gas deliveries will begin no earlier than October 1.

Text by INTERFAX.RU

Pictures by TASS