Updated 11:42 p.m. Moscow Time
MILAN, October 17 (RIA Novosti) - "Moscow and Kiev have resolved in principle all key controversial issues concerning Russian gas supplies to Ukraine during the upcoming winter season," Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Friday.
"We have reached agreements on all key issues, including the price for gas deliveries during the winter, conditions of pre-payment and the schedule of debt payments," Novak told reporters on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Milan.
"The only remaining issue is Ukraine's ability to find sources of financing to ensure the debt payoff and payments for current and future deliveries," Novak said.
The energy minister confirmed that Ukraine had agreed to pay $385 per 1,000 cubic meters of Russian gas during the winter months.
He also said the Ukrainian side appeared to be ready to pre-pay for future deliveries of Russian gas, adding that all remaining issues could be resolved during the trilateral (Russia-Ukraine-EU) talks in Brussels on October 21.
In June, Russian energy giant Gazprom switched Ukraine to the prepayment system for gas supplies due to Ukraine"s gas debt of more than $5 billion.
In September, during ministerial talks in Berlin, Russia and the European Commission proposed the so-called winter package, which stipulated that Ukraine pay off $3.1 billion of its debt by the end of 2014 in exchange for gas supplies in the winter. Russia also insisted that Ukraine pay the first tranche of $2 billion before the start of the deliveries.
On October 13, Russia said it was ready to offer Ukraine a more flexible gas debt repayment schedule, which saw Kiev paying $1.45 billion in the first installment of $3.1 billion, with the rest of the debt being paid off by the year-end.
The same day, Ukrainian Energy Minister Yuriy Prodan said Ukraine was not willing to make any advanced payments for Russian gas supplies, insisting that payments should be made upon delivery.