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Ukraine Details Interim Gas Deal with Russia

  • VOA News

Radical protesters, including supporters of the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda (Freedom) Party, clash with law enforcement members during a rally near the parliament building in Kyiv, Oct. 14, 2014.

Radical protesters, including supporters of the All-Ukrainian Union Svoboda (Freedom) Party, clash with law enforcement members during a rally near the parliament building in Kyiv, Oct. 14, 2014.

Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko says a preliminary energy deal reached with Russia will require Kyiv to pay $385 per thousand cubic meters of natural gas through the winter months.

Poroshenko disclosed details of the deal to Ukraine media on Saturday. The rate is nearly $100 less than Moscow was charging Ukraine in June, when it stopped all deliveries to its neighbor.

However, the Ukraine leader said the agreement — ratified Friday at a Russia-Europe summit — is only in place until March 31, 2015. He also said his cash-strapped government may need international help to pay its gas bills.

Gas-rich Russia and energy-dependent Ukraine have been embroiled in an energy dispute since April, when Moscow nearly doubled the price of gas to Ukraine to $480 per thousand cubic meters. That hike came just weeks after massive pro-Western demonstrations in Kyiv forced Russian-leaning president Viktor Yanukovych from office, in what Moscow has since called an anti-constitutional coup d'etat.

Russian energy negotiators later offered about a 20 percent price cut.

But that bid was rejected by Kyiv, which argued for a deeper discount closer to prices in effect before the bilateral political crisis sparked an ongoing rebellion by pro-Russian separatists near the Russian border.

Some information for this report comes from AP, AFP and Reuters.

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