BRATISLAVA (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday a gas deal struck between Ukraine and Russia was a sign of good progress, but there were still details to be worked out and interim credits had to be found.
Moscow and Kiev struck a provisional gas deal over the weekend, which is expected to be finalised at meetings between officials in Brussels on Tuesday.
Ukraine will pay $385 per 1000 cubic meters of gas for the winter period lasting until March 31, 2015. That is roughly in line with what most western European utilities pay Russia.
Russia says Ukraine owes it around $5 billion in unpaid bills for gas supplied at the end of 2013 and in 2014. Kiev has said it will be prepared to repay Russia $2-$3 billion by the end of the year, if the remaining figure could be negotiated later.
Reporting by Angelika Gruber and Robert Muller; writing by Alexandra Hudson in Berlin; editing by Michael Nienaber