Russia has agreed to ease the terms under which it supplies gas to Ukraine, in a deal which Moscow says should prevent disruption in coming months.
The deal was announced after talks between Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Ukraine’s Yulia Tymoshenko.
It means Ukraine will not be fined for using less gas than in its current contract, because of the downturn.
In January, many countries in Europe were left short of gas due to a payment dispute between Moscow and Kiev.
Russia provides about a quarter of the gas consumed in the EU and 80% of that is piped through Ukraine.