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Ukraine Confirms Winter Gas Deal With Russia

•, Jason Ditz

Reports of progress on negotiations between Ukraine and Russia came to fruition over the weekend, as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko confirmed a winter natural gas deal.

Under the deal, Ukraine's Naftogaz gas monopoly will pay $385 per 1,000 cubic meters to Russia's Gazprom for natural gas, and will repay some of the many billions of dollars they owe for previous unpaid gas.

Poroshenko was pushing for more foreign aid in announcing the deal, saying the $30 billion in bailouts already received were "insufficient." Exactly how much of the unpaid Gazprom debt Naftogaz will be able to pay remains unclear.

That's because even while being a deadbeat customer themselves, Naftogaz has problems with its own customers in the rebel eastern oblasts not paying their bills, and collecting those payments is going to be a key to repaying its own debts.

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