Ukraine and Russia begin new gas crisis talks on Wednesday, but wrangling over Ukraine’s upfront cash payments threatens to push a deal out of reach, even as temperatures have fallen below zero in Kiev.

Russian state utility Gazprom halted supplies to Kiev in June because of Ukraine’s unpaid gas bill, which Moscow says is around $4.5 billion (2.8 billion pounds).

For months, the cut-off has had little impact. But pressure is mounting for a deal as peak winter demand looms and European Energy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger, who has been mediating the talks, prepares to leave office at the end of the week.

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