Russian and Ukrainian energy ministers are due to meet European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger in Brussels after presidents Petro Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin said they had agreed on the “basic parameters” of a deal to get gas flowing to Ukraine again this winter.
Russia cut off gas supply to Ukraine in mid-June following more than two years of dispute on the price and said Kiev had to pay off large debts for previously-supplied gas before it would resume supply.
Putin also threatened to cut gas supplies to Europe if Ukraine steals from the transit pipeline to cover its own needs this winter. Any interruption to flows to western Europe, via Ukraine from Russia, would deal another blow to already struggling EU economies.
The two sides still differ over how to calculate Kiev’s huge gas debt and the schedule for payments and Poroshenko has already said Ukraine will need help to pay the bill.
After the United States air-dropped arms to Kurdish fighters defending the Syrian border town of Kobani against Islamic State militants, Turkey said it would allow Iraqi Kurdish fighters to reinforce. Ankara will facilitate the passage of peshmerga forces, who are already fighting IS in Iraq.