MOSCOW: Russia and Ukraine signalled yesterday they hope to resolve a dispute by the end of this week over billions of dollars in unpaid gas bills that threatens supplies to Europe and is stoking their political conflict.
Russian state-owned exporter Gazprom gave Kiev some respite on Monday by allowing it six more days to pay its debts, averting the risk of an immediate cut in supplies under an advance payment system that had been due to come into force.
Although the two sides disagree over the price Ukraine should pay, signs of compromise are growing after the latest talks brokered by the European Union in Brussels on Monday.
“Talks went for a long time yesterday ... There is an understanding on how to move forward — this is very important,” Gazprom spokesman Sergei Kupriyanov told reporters in Moscow.
He said talks could continue later.