That is partly because the drop in oil prices has pulled down the cost of gas, since the two are linked in the supply contract between Ukraine’s OAO Naftogaz and Russia’s OAO Gazprom.
Russia, Ukraine and the European Commission have initialled a deal to secure winter gas supplies for Kiev.
According to Demchyshyn, Ukraine can start pumping gas right after the full trilateral deal is signed “sometime next week”.
Russia-backed separatists also continue to block access to OSCE monitors, jam the OSCE’s attempts to collect and verify information via unmanned drones, and have fomented attacks against OSCE personnel, in one instance setting fire to their vehicles.
Earlier in September, the Ukraine authorities included 25 Russian airlines and dozens of Russian banks, state TV channels, a number of companies, as well as individuals on its sanctions list. They have initialized the binding protocol and submitted it to the respective governments for confirmation.
The European Commission’s vice president for energy, Maros Sefcovic, called the deal a “major achievement” and a “crucial step” to ensure Ukraine has gas supplies from October through March and that Europe receives “reliable” onward deliveries.
The Ukrainian aviation authority later said the ban would be enforced from October 25.
Russian Federation will offer Ukraine gas at about $227 per 1,000 cubic meters (35,300 cubic feet) through December, according to a decree on the government’s website Friday.
“But 2 billion cubic metres doesn’t solve the problem…” However, Gazprom’s CEO has warned that it may run out of gas before the period agreed upon ends.
How the Russians respond to Ukraine’s proposals will prove a litmus test for the whole Minsk peace deal, Mr Klimkin said.
During the press conference, Ukraine’s Energy Minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn told reporters that “commercial conditions were acceptable”.
“But even that sum is not enough for getting through an unusually cold winter,” Miller said. Many analysts believe that the Ukraine will need to purchase more gas, especially if there is a severe winter.
Relations between Moscow and the West deteriorated significantly due to the conflict in eastern Ukraine which escalated in 2014. Ukraine and the West accuse Russian Federation of arming Ukrainian separatists and of sending its troops to the eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions, claims that Moscow has denied.