The World Bank and the European Investment Bank (EIB) have signed an agreement to provide loans worth $520m to Ukraine for the purchase of natural gas, the World Bank announced in an official statement.

The agreement was announced in Lima, Peru, with World Bank President Jim Yong Kim and EIB President Werner Hoyer both present.

“European and global institutions are committed to helping Ukraine avert a potentially severe energy crisis as winter approaches. The guarantee agreement we signed today will facilitate Ukraine’s purchase of gas at a critical time,” stated a public press release.

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim added, “the new agreement is part of our broad support to the restructuring of the gas sector in Ukraine and it will contribute to adequate gas supplies for the next three years.”

Ukraine has struggled to provide natural gas to its citizens since the country’s conflict with Russia began last year. Russia has traditionally supplied Ukraine with natural gas via pipelines, but since the conflict over the disputed annexation of Crimea last year, Russia has periodically cut off supplies to the eastern European country.

The recent deal is expected to avert crises experienced last winter when Russia cut off gas supplies to Ukraine.