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Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak

On Friday the Ukraine told Russia a $786 million partial payment for back gas bills was on its way to Moscow, according to European Union mediator Guenther Oettinger.

The partial payment on a bill that Russia claims exceeds $5 billion could also averted the threat that Russia would stop supplying gas to Ukraine if it fails to make advance payments starting at the beginning of June.

Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak welcomed the news that Ukraine said it had transferred funds to Moscow from Kiev via a New York bank on Friday afternoon.

The money is being routed through New York as the payment terms are in U.S. dollars.

After a three hour meeting in Berlin, Oettinger said, “We haven’t quite reached an agreement yet, but we had some important stepping stones that make a package solution look possible.”