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.