Ukraine, Russia and the European Union signed a deal on Thursday that will see Moscow resume vital supplies of gas to Ukraine over the winter in return for payments funded in part by Kiev's Western creditors.
EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, whose offices mediated the talks for months, said the EU will also help cash-strapped Ukraine with the payments through aid and guarantees.
"There is now no reason for people in Europe to stay cold this winter," he said. Barroso added that he was "hopeful that the agreement can contribute to increase trust between Russia and Ukraine."
EU energy chief Guenther Oettinger said that "we can guarantee a security of supply over the winter," not only for Ukraine but also for the EU nations closest to the region that stood to suffer should the gas standoff have worsened.
Worth $4.6 billion in total, the package calls for Ukraine to pay $3.1 billion in two tranches by the end of the year to cover debts for previous supplies from Russia's Gazprom and Kiev will have $1.5 billion, some from existing accords with the EU and IMF, to pay for about 4 billion cubic meters of new gas until March, for which Russia is insisting on cash up front.