Russia will extend gas price discounts for Ukraine into the second quarter, TASS news agency reported President Vladimir Putin as saying on Tuesday, but any further decisions would be taken in three months and depend on the price of oil.
Russia's gas monopoly Gazprom on Monday asked the government to extend a price discount for gas supplies to Ukraine for another three months.
Russia, which has sided with separatist rebels fighting against Kiev troop in east Ukraine, halted gas flows to Ukraine last June due to a pricing row. The two sides though agreed on a "winter package" of Russian gas supplies until March 31, which included a price discount of $100 per 1,000 cubic meters.
"The end-price for gas for our customers abroad is tied to the oil price anyway and it is very volatile on the global markets," Putin was quoted as saying at a meeting with Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
"We will have to look in three months at what is happening in that regard and take additional decisions," he said.
The two agreed the decision was conditional on Kiev paying its outstanding debt to Gazprom.
Russia's RIA news agency quoted Ukraine's Energy and Coal Minister Vladimir Demchishin as saying in Kiev he expected the gas price to be $248 per 1,000 cubic meters in the second quarter.