Ukraine's national energy company Naftogaz and Russian energy monopoly Gazprom have agreed to increase natural gas deliveries to Ukraine this year from 33.75 bcm to 36.5 bcm, the Ukrainian energy ministry said.
It said the agreement was reached earlier in the day during the course of talks in Moscow between Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller and Ukrainian Fuel and Energy Minister Yuriy Boiko and Naftogaz chief Yevhen Bakulin.
Gazprom, obviously pleased with the deal, said the increase would also help ensure reliable gas transit to European consumers next winter.
Kiev had pressed Moscow for months to reduce contracted gas volumes, and in November 2009, Naftogaz and Gazprom agreed to reduce 2010 deliveries to 33.75 bcm.
Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, who was inaugurated in February, vowed during his campaign to improve relations with Russia and renegotiate the January 2009 deal on gas supplies.
Prime Minister Mykola Azarov told a Cabinet meeting on Thursday that he was confident of reaching a deal with Russia on lower prices soon.
In March, Azarov met in Moscow with Miller, who said that gas prices would depend on volumes purchased from Gazprom.
The prime minister said after that meeting that Ukraine would buy as much gas as necessary for winter storage, but "we do not need excess gas."
KIEV/MOSCOW, April 8 (RIA Novosti)