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Officials: Ukraine, Russia, EU Likely to Agree Gas Supply Deal Thursday

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak speaks during a joint meeting with Iranian traders in Tehran, Iran, on Sept. 9, 2014. Russian officials have traveled to Iran's capital to boost economic ties between the two countries. Iran's Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh and Novak oversaw a meeting Tuesday of businessmen in Tehran, calling on them to increase trade. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)
Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak speaks during a joint meeting with Iranian traders in Tehran, Iran, on Sept. 9, 2014. Russian officials have traveled to Iran’s capital to boost economic ties between the two countries. Iran’s Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh and Novak oversaw a meeting Tuesday of businessmen in Tehran, calling on them to increase trade. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

 

(Reuters) – RussiaUkraine and the European Union are likely to conclude an accord on Thursday that would see Moscow resume gas supplies to its ex-Soviet neighbor over the winter, EU and Ukrainian officials said.

Nothing is certain after months of hard bargaining. But Russian negotiators, who broke off three-way talks overnight saying a deal depended on firmer EU commitments to Kiev to help it pay, returned to Brussels to renew trilateral discussions.

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, in a passing comment during formal remarks ahead of his departure from office on Friday, said: “Apparently we have a deal.”

Energy Minister Alexander Novak, who flew back from Moscow with Alexei Miller, the head of state gas firm Gazprom, was quoted by Russian news agencies as saying he hoped all the necessary documents would be signed at meetings that began in the EU executive’s headquarters after 7 p.m. (1800 GMT).

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