EU's Barroso urges Russia, Ukraine to finish gas talks

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso called on Russia and Ukraine on Thursday to finish negotiations on deliveries of Russian gas to Ukraine after discussions the previous day failed to produce results. Barroso, who spoke to Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko several times during Wednesday's EU-hosted talks, said an agreement was within reach on the basis of the proposals put forward by the Commission, the EU executive said. "He urged all sides to seize the opportunity and conclude the negotiations in order to secure a continuous, reliable and market based supply of gas to Ukraine," the Commission said in a statement. Talks were deadlocked as Moscow's negotiators were quoted demanding firmer commitments from the European Union to cover Kiev's pre-payments for energy. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Julia Fioretti)