Although Ukraine has for many years claimed that it may produce all the gas necessary from shale gas deposits and offshore fields, it has been largely dependent on Russia for gas imports.
The deal will see Ukraine reaching a greater level of self-reliance for gas. In the past, tense negotiations over the amount of money paid to Moscow have led to winter supplies being severed by Russia.
The discovery of large amounts of shale gas means that the country can be emancipated from the residues of Russia's influence on Ukrainian affairs.
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