War or peace? Tanks roll as Russia, Ukraine edge toward gas deal


Ukraine and Russia edged closer to a deal that could stop Russia carrying out its threat to cut off natural gas supplies to the country from Monday.

News agencies Interfax and Reuters reported Andriy Kobolev, the head of Ukrainian gas company Naftogaz Ukrainy, as saying it was ready to pay a price of $326 per thousand cubic meters for Russian gas the next 18 months as an interim arrangement.

If the offer is accepted by Russian gas monopoly OAO Gazprom, that could buy time for the two sides to settle a dispute over how much Ukraine owes for gas it took in the past, and lower the risk of the west imposing fresh sanctions on Russia.

Gazprom couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. It has said it wants Naftogaz to pay it $1.9 billion by Monday to settle past debts. Failing that, it says Naftogaz will have to pay in advance for…

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