Ukraine, Russia mull EU gas deal

Ukraine, Russia mull EU gas deal
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Ukrainian and Russian officials have met in Berlin to discuss an EU-brokered deal in a payment row between the two sides. 

Moscow turned the taps off three months ago.

If accepted, the deal would guarantee the delivery of five billion cubic metres of gas to Ukraine over the next six months.

Much of Europe’s gas passes through the country as well.

“A gas shortage destroys trust in gas, and that can not be in the interest of Gazprom. Transit problems destroy trust in Ukraine, which may not be in their (Ukraine’s) interest,” said EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger.

“And gas shortage also leads to cold apartments in Bulgaria, the Slovak Republic and in Hungary, which is not in our interest!”

The price discussed is 385 dollars per cubic metre, the equivalent of 303 euros.

The agreement would see Ukraine settle three billion dollars in unpaid gas bills by the end of the year.

Guarantees would be provided the International Monetary Fund.

All three parties will meet again next week.