BRUSSELS, October 31 (RIA Novosti) — Ukraine and the European Commission have secured financing to purchase the amount of Russian gas necessary to ensure uninterrupted supplies to Europe through the upcoming winter, Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said.
"Together with the European Commission we have managed to secure financing to purchase the necessary volumes of [Russian] gas," Prodan said following a trilateral gas meeting late on Thursday.
"These volumes will guarantee secure and reliable gas deliveries through Ukraine to the European Union," Prodan said.
Following the talks, EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said that the EU, however, has not agreed to pay for future gas deliveries to Ukraine and has not guaranteed to pay for the majority of the country's open bills. Nevertheless, Oettinger stated that the EU together with the International Monetary Fund are currently working on a financial aid program to Ukraine for year 2015, which would help Kiev to pay for gas deliveries in February-March 2015.
Russia and Ukraine on Thursday held the final round of talks, mediated by the European Commission, to find an interim solution to the standoff over Ukraine's unpaid gas bills and the price Kiev will pay for Russian gas supplies during the upcoming winter.
Following the talks, Russia, Ukraine and the European Union signed a so-called "winter package" agreement on gas deliveries, while Gazprom and Naftogaz signed an addendum to the contract, securing conditions for gas deliveries up until March 2015. Ukraine agreed to pay $3.1 billion of its more than $5 billion debt to Gazprom until the end of the year and to purchase 4 billion cubic meters of gas on prepayment conditions.