Aid from the International Monetary Fund will enable Ukraine to pay billions in debt to Russia's primary gas company and free up enough of Ukraine's budget to allow the country to buy fuel through the winter. But the IMF deal entails major reforms to the country's energy industry.
The Obama administration and its European allies have tightened the screws on Russia, using economic sanctions to cut off that nation's largest banks, oil producers and defense companies from international finance and technology markets.
Russia and Ukraine drew closer to a war over energy over the weekend as Kiev declared it would refuse to pay for gas at a new, inflated price set by Russian gas company Gazprom last week.
Petroleum corporations are warned they may face a damaging backlash if they try to resist mounting pressure and high profile campaigning for climate change legislation.