Russia, Ukraine reach long-sought agreement on winter gas supplies

An EU official says Russia and Ukraine have ended months of uncertainty and finally reached agreement on supplies of natural gas to Ukraine for the coming winter.

Gas disputes between Russia and Ukraine have led to cut-offs of supply in the past, and one standoff in 2009 caused serious disruptions in shipments of Russian gas to EU countries.

Last winter, Russia and Ukraine struck an emergency deal on gas prices, but that agreement subsequently expired.

EU-brokered talks seeking a similar agreement on gas for the coming winter began in March.

Maros Sefcovic, an EU Commission vice president, said the new deal was initialed Friday in Brussels by Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak and Ukrainian Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn. He said it assured Ukraine would receive Russian gas through next March.