Russian gas giant, Gazprom, is ready to resume supplies of natural gas to Europe from Russia once an EU-brokered accord on monitoring transit via Ukraine is in place.

Gas supplies will restart once all observers are in place.

The Russian Prime Minister, Vladimir Putin, signaled yesterday that Gazprom could not afford to delay for long an end to the bitter gas dispute with Ukraine.

He admitted the state-owned gas group had suffered $800m losses since supplies to Europe were shut off earlier this month.