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KIEV, November 5. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and US Secretary of State John Kerry held a telephone conversation on Tuesday night discussing recent developments in Ukraine as well as bilateral military and technical cooperation, the Ukrainian presidential press service reported.
According to the press service, Kerry expressed his support “for president (Poroshenko’s) actions in regard to the letter and spirit of the Minsk protocol,” and congratulated the head of the state with the recent parliamentary elections in Ukraine by having called them as “free and democratic.”
Poroshenko thanked the US secretary of state for the significant role of the United States in the consolidation of international efforts in favor of the Ukrainian territorial integrity and stated his devotion to the peaceful situation in the southeast of Ukraine.
Both high-ranking officials also discussed details of US Vice President Joe Biden’s visit to Ukraine, scheduled for November 21, Poroshenko’s press service said.
Kerry also have a high evaluation of Kiev’s recently concluded interim agreement with Moscow on the Russian natural gas supplies to Ukraine this winter, the press service added.
Russia and Ukraine reached an interim gas agreement with the EU’s mediation in Brussels on October 30. EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger said the deal worth $4.6 billion was the basis for secure energy supplies to Europe in the upcoming winter.
Under the deal, the Ukrainian national energy company Naftogaz undertook to pay $1.4 billion to Gazprom as partial repayment for the natural gas supplied to Ukraine in November-December 2013 and in early 2014. The deal allows Ukraine to purchase natural gas until late March 2015 at a fixed price of $385 per 1,000 cu m, which will cover Ukraine’s requirements for natural gas and ensure stable supplies to Europe.
Ukraine will have to pay another $1.65 billion to Gazprom by the end of this year. Russia will supply natural gas to Ukraine, if Kiev makes advance payments.
The EU energy commissioner said the interim agreement was possibly the first sign of a reasonable and well-functioning policy of neighborly relations and an ease in tensions between Russia and Ukraine.
This is the basis for ensuring the European Union’s energy security in winter. This is in the interests of all parties. We can assure that a considerable volume of natural gas will be pumped through Ukraine and such countries as the Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria and Austria will have sufficient gas volumes, Oettinger said.