The European Commission has proposed a new compromise to help secure gas supplies from Russia to Europe and the Ukraine this winter.
Vice-President Guenther Oettinger’s proposal at the gas talks in Berlin on Friday included Ukraine making payments for previously delivered supplies in two tranches – $2 billion (£1.2bn) by the end of October and $1.1 billion (£0.7bn) by the end of the year.
In return, Russia’s Gazprom would supply five billion cubic meters of gas, for which Ukraine would pay in advance at a price of $385 (£237) per 1,000 cubic meters.
Mr Oettinger said: “This could be a fair deal for both sides to break the deadlock and ensure that gas supply to Ukraine and EU is assured for the coming winter.”
The details of the proposal will be discussed by both governments and may be subject to another round of trilateral talks, the Commission said.
Russia switched Ukraine to a pre-payment system for gas for failing to pay $4.5 billion (£2.8bn) for deliveries at the time. The debt has now reportedly risen to $5.3 billion (£3.3bn).