Ukraine expects Russia to resume supplies of gas from Monday after Kiev transferred a pre-payment of $378 million to Gazprom, its energy minister said on Sunday.
Russia cut gas deliveries to Ukraine in mid-June in a dispute over prices and debts and supplies have remained suspended while the haggling played out against a background of worsening political relations caused by the separatist war in Ukraine, which Kiev says Moscow is promoting.
Cash-strapped Kiev had delayed buying new supplies for as long as possible and had been drawing on severely depleted reserves to meet consumer demand as increasingly cold weather set in.
But with freezing temperatures and in line with a deal signed by Ukraine’s gas company Naftogaz and Gazprom in October, Kiev late on Friday transferred $378 million to the Russian gas giant as an upfront payment for 1 billion cubic meters of gas for December.
Under the deal, the prepaid gas was to be delivered within 48 hours of payment.
Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn, speaking on the TV channel 1+1 on Sunday night, said: “We have paid a sum for 1 billion cubic meters. From Monday we will start receiving.”
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