Ukraine winter gas deal imminent, says Kiev

Ukraine winter gas deal: Ukraine expects to reach an agreement on the price it will pays Russia for its gas supplies over the winter by the end of the next week, its energy minister Volodymyr Demchyshyn said yesterday, indicating that Kiev would consideraround $220 per 1,000m³ acceptable.
The two countries have been embroiled in a dispute over gas prices ever since the expiry of last winter’s deal that guaranteed Ukraine a $100 discount on the $252 per 1,000m³ that was set six years ago. Russian and Ukrainian representatives are expected to meet with the European Commission soon to decide an agreement for the winter months.“We are prepared to pay market prices,” Demchyshyn said. “$250 minus $30 is a price that would be seen positively by our consumers.” 
In what sounded very much like a negotiating gambit, the minister also pointed out that Ukraine would not have to buy any Russian gas at all this winter if the state-run distributor Ukrtransgaz  managed to accumulate 19bn m³ in its underground storage facilities by  mid-October. According to Uktransgaz officials, those reserves currently stand at 15bn m³, and a further 49m m³ is being put aside on a daily basis.
If it continues to build up its supplies at that rate, however, Ukraine will still find itself some 2.5bn m³ short in a month’s time, and the stakes remain high for Europe as a whole; Russia provides EU member states with one-third of all their gas needs, and Ukraine is likely to remain a key transit route for some time to come.