President Petro Poroshenko announced that Ukraine will have Russian gas for the winter after his meetings with Vladimir Putin in Milan. Gazprom CEO said that Ukraine has agreed to all terms set by Russia to reach the agreement. The two leaders didn’t make much progress in the peace process in eastern Ukraine. In Donetsk, the rebels have said that they are ready to stop firing if Russia acts as a guarantor of security in the region.

In his interview to the Ukrainian TV channels, Poroshenko noted: “Following consultations, I can say that Ukraine will be with gas and heat. This was the conclusion of our arrangements yesterday. It was achieved on conditions of protection of Ukrainian national interests”.

The President informed that in the course of negotiations with Russia, Ukraine insisted that just like on the European market there should be two prices – the price for winter when the demand grows and the price for summer when the demand falls.

According to Poroshenko, Ukraine and the EU had a common position that the price for summer should be USD 325 per 1000 cubic meters and the price for winter – USD 385 per 1000 cubic meters. Russia insisted on USD 385 per 1000 cubic meters for the whole year. As a result, it was decided to establish “winter” price until March 31, 2015.

Heads of the countries’ agencies are to elaborate coordinated protocol by October 21 when negotiations on gas issue between Ukraine, Russia and the EU will be held in Brussels.

Meanwhile, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said that Ukraine has agreed to all terms and conditions of settling its debt for gas proposed by Russia, but, considering that it does not have enough money, the European Commission could help resolve the problem by allocating this money to Kiev.

“As of today, Ukraine has agreed that the first tranche of USD 1.45 billion must be paid before the beginning of supplies,” Miller told journalists following negotiations in Milan on Friday.

“It has agreed that the sum of USD 3.1 billion must be cleared by the end of the year,” and not by the end of the first quarter of 2015, on which it insisted earlier, Miller said, according to Interfax.

About the situation in Eastern Ukraine, Petro Poroshenko said that he has reached an agreement with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the need for the strict observance of the Minsk accords on achieving peace, but it brings nothing new, only the need to observe what had been already agreed before.

“With regard to the peace process, we have confirmed that the Minsk protocol dated September 5 and the Minsk memorandum dated September 19 are the key documents that must be observed,” Poroshenko told reporters in Milan on Friday after the talks with Putin.

He recalled that the key elements of these agreements were the ceasefire and the implementation of practical steps for the efficient monitoring of the situation by OSCE, including through increasing the number of unmanned aerial vehicles, including drones from Germany and France.

“We have also agreed to use other equipment, including video cameras, radars, which can clearly identify those responsible for the violation of the ceasefire. This is what we want and what we need,” the president said.

In addition, he said the two sides made some progress in the matters related to the situation on the border. According to the president, the first task is to place OSCE observers and start the operation of several checkpoints on the border between Ukraine and Russia. “I hope we will be able to do this,” Poroshenko said. according to Interfax.

The president noted that the main concern was the improper implementation of the agreements reached. “Let’s see what will be next week’s results,” the head of state said.

The militants of the self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) said they are ready to stop firing and withdraw their troops from the contact line with the Ukrainian government forces if Russia acts as a guarantor of a peace process in eastern Ukraine.

“We welcome Russia’s possible involvement in the mediating efforts toward separating the conflicting parties, as well as the use of Russian drones in monitoring the situation. Certainly, if Russia acts as a guarantor of security in the region, we are ready to stop firing and withdraw our weapons from the contact line,” DPR First Deputy Prime Minister Andrei Purgin told Interfax.

The lack of proper mechanisms of control over the situation obstructs the arrangement of a full-scale truce, he said.

“No mechanisms of ceasefire observance control have still been worked out, and the OSCE mission has only a mandate of monitors rather than controllers. Surely, if they had a controller mandate, this would help de-escalate tensions, and then the OSCE mission could increase the number of its specialists here,” he said.

“The DPR is interested in Ukraine starting mine-clearance procedures in the region with Russia’s mediation or influence,” he said.

About Olga Brajnović

Journalist. In my fifties. I've worked for 26 years in a newspaper in Spain. I worked for two years as a stringer and correspondent in the US, and went as a special envoy to other places like the Balkans. Sea lover. Avid reader. Classic Music enthusiast.

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