Russia and Ukraine agree gas deal

Russia has agreed to resume gas supplies to Ukraine over the winter in a deal brokered by the European Union, the BBC reports.

The deal will also ensure gas supplies to EU countries via Ukraine are secure.

“There is now no reason for people in Europe to stay cold this winter,” said European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso.

European Union energy chief Guenther Oettinger said he was confident that Ukraine would be able to afford to pay for the gas it needed.

He added that the agreement might be the “first glimmer” of hope in easing tensions between Russian and Ukraine.

“This is an important step for our shared energy security in the European continent,” Mr Barroso said.

The deal follows months of talks between EU officials and the Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers.

The terms include the EU acting as guarantor for Ukraine’s gas purchases from Russia and helping to meet outstanding debts.

The total package is worth $4.6bn (£2.87bn), with money coming from the International Monetary Fund as well as the EU. The total includes funds from existing accords with the EU and IMF.

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