Updated 6:58 p.m. Moscow time
MOSCOW, October 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko discussed gas cooperation in a phone conversation Tuesday, the Kremlin said.
"The sides exchanged opinions on cooperation in the gas sphere with regard to the recent negotiations in various format in Milan," the Kremlin press service said in a statement.
The Russian and Ukrainian leaders met on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) forum in Milan last week. According to the Russian Energy Ministry, they reached a preliminary agreement on Kiev's payment of its gas debt to Russia during the talks. Ukraine is to pay $1.45 billion of the debt in October and another $1.65 billion by the end of 2014. The parties also agreed on a temporary price of $385 per 1,000 cubic meters for the winter season.
Ukraine is facing the approaching winter with low natural gas reserves. In June, Russian energy giant Gazprom switched Ukraine to a prepayment system for gas deliveries in light of its gas debt of more than $5 billion.
Russia, Ukraine and the European Union are scheduled to hold gas talks later on Tuesday in Brussels. Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak has previously stated that he believes the trilateral meeting will produce a written agreement on the gas issue.