Russia gas supply

MOSCOW: Russia’s gas monopoly Gazprom resumed supplies to Ukraine on Monday, in a development that will help the country meet its energy needs through the harsh winter months. Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller said supplies, which were suspended in the spring, recommenced earlier after the firm received $234 million out of a promised $500 million prepayment from Kiev. The deal, which was signed last month with the help of the European Union, will ensure that Ukraine will receive Russian gas for six months through March 2016. Past gas disputes between Russia and Ukraine have led to cutoffs of supply. One standoff in 2009 caused serious disruptions in shipments to EU countries in the dead of winter. Temperatures in Ukraine can drop to as cold as minus 20 degrees Celsius in winter, and most homes in Ukraine rely on piped gas for central heating. Last winter, Russia and Ukraine struck an emergency deal on gas prices, but that expired.