Updated 9:31 p.m. Moscow Time
MILAN, October 17 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin hopes that the European Commission will help Ukraine finance the Russian gas supplies to Ukraine.
"We hope that here our European partners, the European Commission may also, and in my opinion, must help Ukraine finance Russian gas supplies," Putin told reporters after the meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Putin added that there are a number of tools for that among which are another loan tranche from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a bridge loan (an auxiliary loan to cover current liabilities) and guarantees from the European Central Bank.
On September 26, Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission convened a meeting in Berlin to discuss the existing issues surrounding Russian gas supplies to Ukraine. The parties discussed the "winter plan" anticipated to last until the March of the next year.
According to the plan, Ukraine must pay off the $3.1 billion debt that it has accrued for Russian gas supplies before Gazprom will commence supplying five billion cubic meters of gas at a price of $385 for 1,000 cubic meters, which Ukraine would have to pay in advance.
Ukraine, however, has opposed the proposal, insisting that payments be made upon the delivery of the gas.