With so many countries across Europe reliant on Ukraine’s pipelines for natural gas deliveries from Russia, Kiev faces mounting pressure to reach a deal with Moscow before winter hits. Russia’s intermittent halting of gas deliveries in 2009 led to shortages in the EU.

A look back at key events in the most recent dispute over gas deliveries:

April 1: In the fight for power in eastern Ukraine, Russia increases pressure on its near-bankrupt neighbour by raising gas prices.

April 6: The Ukrainian head of government Arseny Yatsenyuk accuses Russia of “economic aggression” and says Kiev will not pay the massively higher prices.

April 11: Moscow reassures its European gas customers that their contracts will be fulfilled, even as President Vladimir Putin demands that billions of dollars of debt owed by Kiev’s protesting government be settled immediately.

June 16: Russia ceases gas deliveries on grounds of some 4.5 billion dollars in unpaid gas bills. Russian energy giant Gazprom announces it will only deliver gas to Ukraine if advance payments are made.

August 8: Ukraine threatens to cut Russian oil and gas transit to Europe.

September 2: Slovakia officially opens a so-called reverse flow pipeline to send Russian gas back to Ukraine, giving Kiev the opportunity to become less dependent on Russian deliveries.

September 26: EU Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger says Russian and Ukrainian officials reached an agreement to secure European and Ukrainian gas supplies by the end of March 2015.

October 19: Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announces that Moscow and Kiev have reached a preliminary agreement to ensure natural gas supplies for the winter.

October 21: Negotiations over a gas deal are delayed by a week.

October 29: Three days after Ukrainian parliamentary elections, Poroshenko’s party presents a draft coalition agreement that would diversify Ukraine’s energy sources. The document specifically promises to reduce the country’s dependence on Russian gas by capping deliveries from any single supplier at 30 per cent.

GNA

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